Sepia photography painted over with figures and details

The Country Cries for Truth

A powerful and personal exhibition by distinguished Bundjalung artist Dr Bronwyn Bancroft celebrates family and connection to Country, while exploring the complex and painful legacies of colonisation.

Exhibition Information

Exhibition Galleries

1 Shakespeare Place
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9273 1414

Acknowledgment of Country  

The State Library of New South Wales acknowledges the Gadigal people, the First Peoples and custodians of the land on which the Library stands and whose skies and waters surround us. We offer our respects to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other First Nations people. 

Dr Bronwyn Bancroft, distinguished Bundjalung artist, book author/illustrator, mother and truth-telling warrior from the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, has a masterly approach to her works, and this exhibition will lead you through a passage of curiosity and reflection. 

Allow yourself to be gifted a new lens into our shared history through Dr Bancroft’s artistic practices — where Country was once captured being decimated, Bronwyn warmly invites you to see it being brought back to life through her use of colour, defining lines and added imagery. 

In 2021–22 Dr Bronwyn Bancroft completed a series of works as part of the inaugural NSW First Nations Creative Fellowship at the State Library of NSW. These works contain enlivened images of family, sacred belongings from Country and a sequence of mixed-media artworks that are a direct response to historic photographs from the Library’s JW Lindt collection. 

Through her techniques of painting onto family photographs, arresting stencilled river-stone art, and intentional sprinkles of colour and patterning onto colonial historical images, Bancroft’s work gracefully highlights the attempted erasure of Country. At the same time, the works reclaim her ancestral lands through shadowing sentinel trees and watchful figures of mob, reminding the viewer that her people are still ever-present and living.  

The Country Cries for Truth is a celebration of Dr Bronwyn Bancroft’s family and their ongoing connection to Bundjalung Country. This exhibition calls for us to pause and consider the devastation of colonisation for Aboriginal people, and to remember the complex and painful legacies of this history which still live in Country. 

— Cherokee Lord (Curator), Indigenous Engagement, State Library of NSW 


I think The Country Cries for Truth title is actually interconnected with the struggle of Aboriginal people across this country and the tears are real. You know, the tears of pain, the tears of anguish, the tears of displacement, the tears of togetherness, the tears of triumph, there can be happy tears and there can be sad tears. 

—  Dr Bronwyn Bancroft 

Meet the curator

Portrait of two women sitting

Cherokee Lord

Cherokee is a Bundjalung and Gamilaraay woman with family ties to Casino and Tabulam in the Northern Rivers of NSW. She has been a member of the State Library’s Indigenous Engagement branch for five years, working to assist Aboriginal people and their communities to access material from the Library's collections. The Country Cries for Truth is her debut exhibition as curator.