Getting There - Map Fleurieu Peninsula South Australia
Signal Point Gallery
Signal Point Gallery
Gallery Open: 11am - 4pm, Monday to Friday
A list of Exhibitions in 2013 is still being confirmed. Please check again at a later date.
Murrundi Ruwi Pangari Ringbalin Exhibition
Mu r rund i Ruwi Pangari Ringbalin
Opening at Signal Point Gallery March 24 at 2pm and running till May 23 is a photographic document of Murrundi Ruwi Pangari Ringbalin (‘river country spirit ceremony’). The document of this remarkable cultural journey by Ngarrindjeri and Kooma people takes the form of a striking series of large-scale prints by award- winning photographer Justin McManus.
Murrundi Ruwi Pangari Ringbalin is a ritual journey of traditional dance and customs aimed at ‘dancing life and spirit’ back into the Murray-Darling river system, reviving and renewing aspects of Aboriginal custodianship of the land and rivers.
Beginning in April 2010, people from the three nations from along the river system came together to travel the length of the rivers for nine days, teaching, learning and performing corroboree along the way. The participants included Kooma people, from the catchment area at the start of the Darling River near Cunnamulla in Queensland, the Ngemba people, of the Central Darling river from NSW and the Ngarrindjeri people, from the Coorong in South Australia, at the mouth of the Murray River. The revival and maintenance of the ceremony was the imitative of Ngarrindjeri elder Major Sumner, to retrace ancestral songlines and perform corroborees that would seek to revive the ancient stories and custodianship of this waterway, the life-blood of this country.
The event has run annually since then, and has led to important discourse about preservation and continuation of culture and environmental issues. Put eloquently by Major Sumner, the objectives of Murrundi Ruwi Pangari Ringbalin are to ‘dance the energy back, not just back into the land but back into ourselves, the energy that brings that spirit, that brings our ancestors' spirit to help us with the water, bring the rain, the water all the way down to the Murray mouth to wash out, clean the river’.
These photographs by Justin McManus document the special corroborees and other rituals performed on the journeys. His unique depiction of the event paints the seemingly other-worldly transformation that the performers undergo as they dance for the life of the river and pay tribute to the spirits that created the waters that sustain our lives.
Justin has worked as a photojournalist for the past sixteen years in Australia, England and Argentina. He has extensively travelled many other countries photographing diverse people and cultures. In 2012 he was awarded the Nikon-Walkley Press Photographer of the Year for a portfolio of diverse photographs, and in 2010 he won a prestigious World Press Photo award for a portrait taken during the Black Saturday bushfires. He currently works for The Age in Melbourne.
Major Sumner says” these images are of real cultural significance. We do not have the Elders around anymore like we used to in the old days, so it is important that we document everything so that it’s not lost. To record ceremony in pictures, sound, video and the written word all help with the process of maintaining and reviving customs and culture.”
Gallery hours Monday – Friday 11am to 4pm & Saturday – Sunday 10am – 4pm