Sydney Elders

Sydney Elders

We’re excited to be presenting a new project by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, who has collaborated with four Sydney elders — Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra and Uncle Dennis — to tell a very personal story of Aboriginal Sydney, and how these elders have continued the legacy of their ancestors by actively contributing to and creating Sydney.

Exhibition
Saturday 6 October 2018 to Sunday 13 October 2019
  1. Today
    1. 9 am to 5 pm
  2. Tomorrow
    1. 9 am to 5 pm
  3. Thursday
    1. 9 am to 8 pm
  4. Friday
    1. 9 am to 5 pm
  5. Saturday
    1. 10 am to 5 pm
  6. Sunday
    1. 10 am to 5 pm
  7. Monday
    1. 9 am to 5 pm
Admission: Free
Sydney Elders Exhibition Guide

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Sydney Elders


We’re excited to be presenting a new project by Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones, who has collaborated with four Sydney elders — Uncle Chicka, Aunty Esme, Aunty Sandra and Uncle Dennis — to tell a very personal story of Aboriginal Sydney, and how these elders have continued the legacy of their ancestors by actively contributing to and creating Sydney.


"These stories form a beautifully complex web that knits Sydney's landscapes together."
Jonathan Jones


 

Smiling portrait of an old woman holding a model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge covered in shells.

Aunty Esme Timbery is a celebrated Bidjigal artist and elder from the Aborignal mission community of La Perouse on the shores of Botany Bay. Aunty Esme comes from a long line of Timberys and, like her ancestors, is a renowned shellwork artist whose work has been widely collected. 

Aunty Esme Timbery

Uncle Dennis Foley is a Gai-mariagal man from northern Sydney. He spent much of his early years growing up on his gradmother's country on the northern beaches. Uncle Dennis has worked in education and has published a book on his country. 

Uncle Dennis Foley

Aunty Sandra Lee is a Dharug elder from Blacktown, where she is an active member of the western Sydney Aboriginal community. Her family is decended from Maria Locke, the first Aboriginal person to marry a European and own property. Aunty Sandra has been involved in many organisations and sits on several boards, constantly pushing for recognition of Dharug people.

Aunty Sandra Lee
Portrait of a smiling man holding a ceramic fish.

Uncle Charles 'Chicka' Madden is from Gadigal country and is a recognised member of the Redfern and inner-city community. Uncle Chicka worked in the construction industry for most of his life, and has been invovled in many organisations including the Aboriginal Medical Service and Redfern All Blacks. 

Uncle Charles 'Chicka' Madden
A photograph of two women and one man gathered around a large film camera. One looks through the eye piece.

Jonathan Jones, Fotini Manikakis (producer) and Justine Kerrigan (cinematographer) on location in Redfern.

Meet the curator

A smiling bearded man.

Jonathan Jones

Sydney-based artist and independent curator Jonathan Jones is a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia. Well known for his site-specific installations that explore Indigenous practices, histories, relationships and ideas, he began his curatorial practice at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative Ltd in Sydney (2000–02). He has since has researched and curated for various institutions and organisations, often in collaboration with community groups and elders, including recent projects with Kaldor Public Art Projects and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Jones’s work is represented in major public collections throughout Australia and in public collections overseas. He is currently a senior researcher at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney.

Eora: the lives of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement.

Delve deep into the stories of Indigenous Sydney before European settlement. created through a close and innovative interrogation of the European records of early colonisation.

Toulgra

An 1802 portrait of a young Eora man, by French artist Nicolas-Martin Petit, is remarkable for its attention to detail.

An unknown warrior: mysterious portrait of an unknown, handsome young Aboriginal man

This mysterious portrait of an unknown, handsome young Aboriginal man is believed to have belonged to Governor Lachlan Macquarie, described as ‘One of the NSW Aborigines befriended by Governor Macquarie’. Part of the 10 Works in Focus series.

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