Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection Reopens Aug. 31 With New Exhibit

August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 — The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection reopens Aug. 31 with the exhibit "Sally Gabori: Danda dulk ngijinda dulk (This Land is My Land)." The exhibit is on view through Dec. 19.

An opening reception will be held Sept. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. No reservations are required.

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Jane Ford:

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori is a Kaiadilt woman who was born about 1924 on the south side of Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, Australia. In her language, Kayardild, "mirdidingkingathi" means "born at Mirdidingki," and "juwarnda" means "dolphin."

In 1946 and '47, a severe drought accompanied by tidal surges destroyed Kaiadilt homelands and led missionaries to transport the entire population of Bentinck to neighboring Mornington Island – including Gabori, who arrived as one of Pat Gabori's four wives.

For many years, she produced traditional handicrafts from native plants such as pandanus and hibiscus bark. She started painting in 2005 at the Mornington Island art center.

Her colorful, abstract works relate to island life and the ancestral stories associated with particular sites. These stories tell of the creation of Bentinck Island by ancestral beings such as the Rock Cod, Crane and Seagull.

Gabori has participated in group and solo exhibitions throughout Australia and most recently in London and Seoul.

The Kluge-Ruhe Collection, located at 400 Worrell Drive, Peter Jefferson Place on Pantops, is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 434- 244-0234 or visit www.virginia.edu/kluge-ruhe.