27 JANUARY 2011
Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route, an exhibition of paintings and stories of the Aboriginal history of the world's longest stock route, has closed at the National Museum of Australia after attracting a record number of visitors.
The exhibition drew 122,334 visitors, the largest number of people to visit a temporary exhibition at the National Museum since it opened in 2001.
"This exhibition really struck a chord. It was not only a spectacularly vibrant collection of paintings but introduced visitors to some of the history of the continuing cultural significance of the country traversed by the route," said Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Museum of Australia.
"It transformed our understanding of this part of Australia and I think people really felt that new experience."
The National Museum is in discussions with a number of museums and galleries to display the exhibition and give more Australians an opportunity to experience the remarkable collection of 127 paintings, cultural objects, documents and new media.
The Canning Stock Route stretched from Halls Creek to Wiluna in Western Australia and its history was often presented as a white man's story. The exhibition Yiwarra Kuju (One Road): The Canning Stock Route reclaimed the Aboriginal history of the stock route by telling its stories through Aboriginal eyes and voices.
The art and objects were produced by the Canning Stock Route Project, a four year program developed by FORM, an independent arts organisation based in Perth, which involved artists, traditional custodians and emerging Aboriginal curators and filmmakers.
The National Museum of Australia's next major exhibition will be Not just Ned: a true history of the Irish in Australia which opens at the National Museum on St Patrick's Day, 17 March, 2011.
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