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No Turning Back: Artworks from The Torch 2018


The Torch program is supported by the Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation through Corrections Victoria; Gandel Philanthropy; Packer Family Foundation; Crown Resorts Foundation Ltd; Margaret Lawrence Bequest; The Miller Foundation Ltd; The Pratt Foundation; The Ivy H & Arthur A Thomas Trust through Equity Trustees; Sidney Myer Fund; Lobster Cave; The Dick Whittington Tavern; Choice Energy; St Kilda Art Supplies and Ellikon Printing.


No Turning Back: Artworks from The Torch 2018 Deakin University Downtown Gallery Deakin Downtown 28 May to 20 July 2018

Painting has given me a lot of faith in myself, more confidence, and I have a stronger connection with community. Ray Traplin, Kuku Yalanji, 2017

No Turning Back presents artworks by Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria who are currently participating in The Torch’s Indigenous Arts in Prison and Community program. By focusing on the role of cultural strengthening, artistic expression and arts vocational support as an important part of the rehabilitation process, The Torch aims to reduce re-offending and address the over-representation of Indigenous Australians within Victoria’s prison system. Over 170 artists currently participate in The Torch program. While in prison, program participants are supported by Indigenous Arts Officers who visit each Victorian prison on a regular basis, providing art and cultural resources and art industry information. After release, The Torch encourages “no turning back”, embracing participants as artists rather than ex-offenders and providing an avenue to change by strengthening resilience to the cycle of re-offending. Indigenous Arts Officers continue to provide art, cultural and arts vocational support to post-release participants who stay connected to the program.

A key component of the program is connecting participants to Australia’s Indigenous Arts industry which contributes $100 million annually to the Australian economy. Opportunities to sell and license artworks through The Torch program provide participants with a genuine opportunity to connect to a culturally significant and economically viable vocation prior to release from prison. 100% of the income generated from sales and licensing through The Torch goes to the artists. For the past nine years our key annual exhibition, Confined, has given hundreds of The Torch artists an opportunity to share their stories with the wider community. In recent years, we have also begun partnering with selected organisations to exhibit artworks and build awareness of the program. In challenging areas of Indigenous disadvantage, meaningful change can be promoted through committed partnerships and I would like to thank Deakin University for providing this second annual exhibition opportunity for The Torch artists. Kent Morris Barkindji Chief Executive Officer The Torch


Veronica Mungaloon Hudson Pitjantjatjara Burning of the Land #6 2016 Acrylic on canvas 113 x 56 cm

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This series of paintings is inspired by the burning of the land for Aboriginal land management. The land is burnt to clear it of old dead growth and, in its place, new growth is encouraged. Animals are attracted to the new growth which can be hunted for bush tucker. It’s a traditional cycle of life.


Veronica Mungaloon Hudson Pitjantjatjara Burning of the Land #20 2018 Acrylic on canvas 113 x 113 cm

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Veronica Mungaloon Hudson Pitjantjatjara Burning of the Land #17 2017 Acrylic on canvas 112 x 112 cm

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Veronica Mungaloon Hudson Pitjantjatjara Burning of the Land #21 2018 Acrylic on canvas 113 x 113 cm

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Glenda Morgan Yorta Yorta Honey Ants 2016 Acrylic on canvas 95 x 95 cm

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This is about me and my twin and about the honey ants digging up a lot of dirt for their nests, their houses, to secure their homes. We are very family orientated, we love our kids. We’ve carried a lot and dug a lot of dirt in our lives but we are safe.


Lake Mungo is a very significant place in New South Wales, a place of beauty and mystery, a place where nothing should be touched. If you pick something up, you should put it back where you got it from. You don’t know how long it may have been there for, it really is a beautiful place.

Jeffrey Jackson Mutti Mutti Sands of Time, Lake Mungo #5 2018 Acrylic on canvas 99 x 152 cm

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Ray Traplin Kuku Yalanji River Dreaming #1 2018 Acrylic on canvas 153 x 176 cm

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When the time of creation was in full swing, a water spirit in the form of a giant snake carved its way across our country, digging out our great rivers and gorges. It gave us the water we all share and live by. The water serpent gave us life.


I live on the Murray River and, once in a blue moon, we would get a flood but it’s when it starts to run back into the river that the surrounding bush would come to life. You see a lot of pretty colours. It would be nice and green which attracts the animals. It’s a beautiful sight to see.

Jeffrey Jackson Mutti Mutti Receding Waters 2017 Acrylic on canvas 107 x 160 cm

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Big Kev Ngiyampaa Ceremony 2017 Acrylic on canvas 131 x 121 cm

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This painting represents a ceremony held between Wiradjuri, Barkindji and Wailwan on Ngiyampaa land. It’s a visual representation of a story handed down from my Elders to me. The ceremony includes tool trading, intermarriage and sharing special foods from each of their lands. The bird at top centre is a Teal Duck and the three tribes are represented by the three streams originating from the bottom of the work and converging around the duck. The blue and white curved ring of pools in the lower part of the work represents the Hunter River dried up.


There are two dragonflies in the painting, one bigger than the other. They represent change, a wonderful change that has come into my life. The smaller of the dragonflies represents our daughter. The bigger dragonfly is her mother. The turtle is me and my shell is inscribed with journey tracks of places I have been in the past. There are campsites, water holes and meeting places with no connecting journey tracks. This represents the new beginnings and the new journey we are now embarking on.

Garry Scott New Beginnings 2017 Acrylic on canvas 81 x 168 cm

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Bradley Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta Bora Rings (Ceremonial Grounds) 2017 Acrylic on canvas 87 x 152 cm

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The two smaller circles on each side represent the men’s and women’s ceremonial grounds. The larger circle in the centre is the communal ground. The handprints represent the lore men/knowledge keepers and all the dots are the mob that have been through lore.


Robby Wirramanda Patterns of Lake Tyrrell #1 2017 Ceramic 52 x 27 x 6 cm Patterns of Lake Tyrrell #7 2017 Ceramic 51 x 27 x 6 cm Patterns of Lake Tyrrell #2 2017 Ceramic 47 x 23 x 8 cm Patterns of Lake Tyrrell #3 2017 Ceramic 44 x 23 x 7 cm Patterns of Lake Tyrrell #5 2017 Ceramic 44 x 22 x 7 cm

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Robby Wirramanda Wergaia Wotjobaluk (top) Stories in the Lines of My Country #1 2017 Acrylic on canvas 61 x 92 cm 14

(bottom) Stories in the Lines of My Country #3 2017 Acrylic on canvas 61 x 92 cm


Robby Wirramanda Wergaia Wotjobaluk (bottom) New Beginnings #2 2017 Acrylic on canvas 61 x 92 cm

(top) New Beginnings #1 2017 Acrylic on canvas 61 x 92 cm

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No Turning Back: Artworks from The Torch 28 May to 20 July 2018 Deakin University Downtown Gallery, Deakin Downtown, Level 12 - Tower 2, Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne Docklands. Open to the public 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. Š 2018 the artist, the authors and publisher. Copyright to the works is retained by the artist and his/her descendants. No part of this publication may be copied, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher and the individual copyright holder(s).

ISBN 978-0-6483226-2-7 Artwork photography: Mick Bell Deakin University Art Gallery Deakin University Melbourne Campus at Burwood 221 Burwood Highway Burwood 3125 T +61 3 9244 5344 E artgallery@deakin.edu.au www.deakin.edu.au/art-collection Deakin University CRICOS Provider Code: 00113B

The views expressed within are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views held by Deakin University.

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The Torch: No Turning Back (Exhibition dates: May to July 2018  
The Torch: No Turning Back (Exhibition dates: May to July 2018