The History of the Campfire Group

10 June–16 July 200510 Jun–16 Jul 2005

The Campfire Group was born out of 1980s Brisbane, amid cheap studio spaces, the Fitzgerald Enquiry, moods of excitement, bravery and change. It began with an agenda to create black-white dialogue. A key member and the curator of Shoosh!, Michael Eather, explains: ‘It is neither a whitefella’s story nor a blackfella’s story alone. From my own (white) perspective, I observed at the time that there were many others who didn’t know who, what, where, when or how to talk about notions of Aboriginality and its varied forms of art. I was surprised that there were so many whitefellas who didn’t actually know any blackfellas, let alone confide in them. The media was customarily patronising about “black issues”, popular arts magazines and writers were often too remote or conceptual for any meaningful dialogue, and the greenies were too soft. Still, musicians, performers, writers and artists were carving new ground in this “pre-bicentennial” climate and black artists understood the timing of this better than most.’


Eather, Michael Nelson Jagamara, Imants Tillers, Vincent Serico, Herb Wharton, Richard Bell, Marshall Bell, Joanne Currie, Tiriki Onus, Walala Tjapaltjarri, Laurie Nilsen, Bianca Beetson and Leigh Hobba