The record-breaking exhibition of art and new media, Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route returned to Western Australia as the cultural backdrop to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October 2011. Produced by FORM and the National Museum of Australia, Yiwarra Kuju was then open to the public throughout November at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre supported by a rich calendar of public program events including tours, talks and film screenings. Aboriginal curators and filmmakers, mentored on the Canning Stock Route Project over five years, gathered for its public showing to offer visitors a unique insight into the stories of the exhibition.
During its showing of only a few weeks the exhibition attracted 32,977 visitors, over 45 school tours as well as substantial attention from the media. Here are comments we received from some of our visitors:
‘This is a triumphant exhibition which teaches, enlightens and educates – everyone I am sure – who sees it. I have made three visits and could spend many more hours here. Thank you.’
‘A true reflection of the culture, people and inspiration of the spirit of the land and people as one. Congratulations to all involved in this truly excellent exhibition and landmark in West Australian history.’
‘This is the most beautiful exhibition I have seen on the art, culture, traditions and language of my people, the First Nation People.’
‘Well worth flying from Melbourne to Perth to see this in its home town! Inspiring, educational and beautiful.’
‘This is the most incredible and moving exhibition I have ever seen. This should be always and permanently in Perth.’
In December 2011 Yiwarra Kuju launched at the Australian Museum in Sydney and it ran until April 2012. Throughout its showing the exhibition attracted 37,500 people and 95% of visitors said they would recommend the exhibition to others.