Juno Gemes


CANBERRA: National
Portrait Gallery
Opening Day Photos
SYDNEY: Macquarie
University Art Gallery
Opening Day Photos
History Forum Day
Forum Day Photos
The Proof Readings
Readings Photos
Warawara Photos
SYDNEY: Museums Australia Conference & Dinner
MOREE: Moree Plains Gallery
Opening Day Photos
South Australian Museum
University of Virginia, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
Review, photos
GOSFORD: Regional Art Gallery
Press release 1
Press release 2
Opening night photos
Opening night speech
In Conversation photos


The Long March for Justice and Hope

Portraits from The Movement 1978 – 2003

Gosford Regional Art Gallery

26 May – 22 July 2007


On the eve of 40 years since the 1967 Referendum the outstanding and much celebrated exhibition Proof: Portraits from The Movement 1978-2003 by internationally acclaimed artist Juno Gemes will open at Gosford Regional Art Gallery on May 25.

Simultaneously a time for celebration and reflection – looking back at the struggles and achievements of indigenous people over that last 40 year period, Proof spearheads the question of how far the 1967 referendum was successful in gaining civil rights for Aborigines. With each photograph the telling of the story comes to life of the struggle, the humanity, the achievements, the tenacity and the strength of indigenous people in their ongoing intervention to make the changes, to make their own histories matter, not through government policy that never delivered civil rights proper but through historical, living moments and connections to the ancestral presences so infused within the landscape. In each venue Proof has reconceptualised “The Movement,” retaining its potency in casting its ubiquitous quality in shaping our imagination for indigenous people to one day become and be recognised as equal citizens within contemporary Australian society.

Proof stirs the emotions in its power to move some to tears, others to laughter and to most, a sense of relief in knowing those historical moments of national importance of “The Movement” have been recorded and not erased from our presence. As its presence continually re-enacts history and enlivens our thoughts towards the indigenous leaders, people and places photographs as outstanding as we witness in Proof. As Sasha Grishin has said of Proof, “… a sense of intimacy and empathy is established between the photographer and her subjects. When viewed as a sequence, we experience a curious sensation of being simultaneously inside The Movement, almost as participants, and outside it, as observers and sympathetic witnesses.”

Proof has made the difference. Informing public opinion and inspiring the younger generation to make connections in bringing indigenous people and stories together across the cultural landscape, forming a sense of belonging and connectedness – loud to the dance as Grishin describes the photographic installation “like a noisy corroboree, where the colourful characters – the leaders, heroes and entertainers – are all determined to have their say and to engage us with their presence.”

Proof is a not to be missed exhibition in the 40th anniversary year of the 1967 Referendum. As Anne Loxley was moved to tears in 2004 seeing Proof at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, “so exquisite” as Loxley engaged with “one great photograph after another. Gemes project documents the Aboriginal community over three decades, in moments sometime personal, sometimes nationally significant. Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) in shorts in 1982 is impossibly fabulous.” Likewise audiences at Gosford Regional Art Gallery will be affected by its ongoing presence.