Transforming Tindale

Unheard stories are given a voice in this powerful exhibition of scientific photographs and contemporary artworks, exploring the legacy of Norman Tindale's 1938 anthropological expedition to Aboriginal communities. Artist Vernon Ah Kee has drawn inspiration from photographs of his family in the Tindale collection to produce poignant works capturing the personalities behind the scientific images.

Transforming Tindale is a thought-provoking journey into the Tindale collection, what it means to Aboriginal people and its place in Queensland's history.

Interview with Exhibition Curators 5 June 2012.

Michael Aird and Vernon Ah Kee are in conversation with Louise Denoon about their work curating the exhibition Transforming Tindale for the State Library of Queensland. They discuss such topics as: the Tindale collection including historical contexts and racist policies towards Aboriginal people as well as their personal experiences with the material; the idea of transforming the Tindale collection; the curatorial process including their community engagement work with Aboriginal families and communities; and the power and psychology of a portrait.
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Tindale collection

Tindale's original research is held at the South Australian Museum. The State Library has copies of genealogical information and photographs from the Tindale collection available for the Queensland Aboriginal communities of Mona Mona, Yarrabah, Palm Island, Woorabinda and Cherbourg, as well as two northern New South Wales communities at Boggabilla and Woodenbong.

SLQ has also created an online index of names recorded in the genealogies. There are restrictions on who can access the full family tree information and photographs. Access to these records can be arranged by contacting the John Oxley Library. Find out more.

Learning notes

Suitable for middle and senior phase education.

Learning notes are available for your visit to the Transforming Tindale exhibition. Designed to complement the English, History and Visual Arts curricula, the background notes and middle and senior learning activities focus on the cross-curricular priority of Aboriginal histories and cultures.

To book a class visit, contact

Download the learning notes.

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