The community gathered together for the opening of Yidumduma Bill Harney: Bush Professor, an exhibition celebrating the life work of Yidumduma Bill Harney. The exhibition launched in May 2016 at the Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture Centre in his local community of Katherine, Northern Territory. At over 80 years of age, Harney is one of the last fully initiated elders of the Wardaman people. He is a charismatic storyteller, artist and the only remaining living custodian of the collective memory, laws and history of his people.
As a child, Harney learned the ways of the Wardaman people from his mother and stepfather and also the stories connected to the stunning ancient rock art seen on the land of his people, including the famous Lightning Brothers site. Harney’s knowledge has been described by anthropologists as ‘encyclopedic in nature’, and his artwork is one way that he shares this intimate understanding with the world.
The opening began 13th of January, and the exhibits were displayed until the 19th of February.