Saturday, December 6, 2008

Neville Jabangrdi Poulson’s Drawings

It turns out that there are 11 drawing that have survived from Neville’s trip to Mittagong in 1971 that will now be the starting point for the Yuendumu Jewellery Project.

For copyright and cultural reasons only one is being posted on the internet now. Others will be shown as the project develops over time.

All the drawing were made with a Texta/felt-tip pen on cartridge paper. Fortunately these drawing have been stored out of the light, otherwise they might not have survived. In any event they are almost as fresh now as they were when they were made.

At the time they were made the technologies that are available in 2008 were not only unavailable but also unimagined. And other circumstances have changed too with the passing of time. Therefore, with Neville’s permission, this project can start (restart?) from the point where it faltered back in 1971 and 37 years on.

As we keep saying, watch this space.


The genesis of the story that we trust that will unfold here began in November 1971 when a young man – Neville Jabangrdi Poulson AKA 'Cobra' [ 1 ] • [ 2 ] • [ 3 ] • [ 4 ] – from a remote community then known as Yuendumu Settlement and Baptist Mission travelled to Sturt Workshops in Mittagong NSW for a short time to learn how to make jewellery.

During that time he did some drawings as a way of explaining his culture and his relatively recent initiation. In 2008 those drawings were rediscovered and there are layers of meaning invested in them that are not only to do with the strength of his culture but also the layering of histories that have become imbedded in them since.

The drawing that we are using as the identity image for this site and project is one of Neville's 1971 drawings and it carries stories to do with a relationship that began in 1971 and promises to begin to bloom in 2008. Some plants do take a long time to flower.

As this site evolves more will be revealed as the past is revisited and a future is explored. So, as they say in the movies “watch this space.”