JW Lindt - Photographs are never still
The history of the Clarence Valley Aboriginal people since European arrival has been written for the first time.
For the first time, the history of the Clarence Valley Aboriginal people since European arrival has been written. This history is part of the Grafton Regional Gallery’s new major publication Photographs Are Never Still, a catalogue on the John William Lindt Collection.
The history is one of the outcomes of the search for the identity of the Aboriginal people in the Lindt photographs which began when the photographs were donated to the gallery in 2004.
Photographs Are Never Still presents all of the information about the gallery’s Lindt photographs. Our photographs are finally in context. Each photograph has a story. The title of this significant book reflects how John William Lindt’s 1873 photographs continue to reveal information, cause change, inspire people and develop their stories.
The 240 page catalogue is the culmination of the major research projects overseen by the Lindt Research Group and supported by The Gallery Foundation, University of New England and Clarence Valley Council. The search for identity has led to five of the Aboriginal people in the photographs being formally identified and has demonstrated that more can be found.
Gallery Director, Jude McBean, said, “The research projects conducted in 2010 and 2014 have been nationally significant in showing that it is possible to identify people in photographs taken in the 1870s. This has great meaning for many communities who hold similar photographs in their public collections.”
Uniquely, the book provides a detailed social and cultural history of Aboriginal people in the Clarence Valley and like the history begins with the arrival of Europeans up until 1939 when the Aborigines Protection Board folded.
Photographs Are Never Still was researched and written by historians Dr Kate Gahan and Ken Orchard, with support from the Lindt Research Group, mainly Elders Irene Daley, Robyn Bancroft, Deborah Taylor and Rosie Vesper.
Dr Kate Gahan has collated the information against each of the thirty seven portraits and written the history of Clarence Valley Aboriginal people since European settlement. Kate completed her PhD in history at the University of New England. Recently she was awarded a NSW History Fellowship to research the social histories of the Aboriginal communities and the culturally diverse people living in the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed River districts during the 19th Century.
Ken Orchard is recognised nationally as an expert on the photographer John William Lindt, who he has researched since the early 1990s. Ken has highlighted Lindt’s pioneering and creative work and located the landscapes photographs within the Clarence Valley. Ken currently works as a researcher and curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
The Grafton Regional Gallery’s collection of Lindt photographs is the result of three generous gifts. In 2004 Sam and Janet Cullen and their children Stephen, Prue and Sarah donated 37 photographs by JW Lindt to the gallery, 33 of which portrayed Clarence Valley Aboriginal people. Eight months later, the Friends of the Grafton Gallery donated seven landscape photographs, and in 2006 Ian and Florence Robinson donated a diptych photograph of the mining village, Solferino. These gifts became a landmark for the gallery’s collection and for the Clarence Valley community.