Black Mist Burnt Country: Testing the Bomb. Maralinga and Australian Art is a national touring exhibition of artworks by over 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists commemorating the British atomic test series in Australia. Sixty years after the events this exhibition revisits the history of the test program at places such as Maralinga, Emu and Montebello Island, through works across the mediums of painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, music and new media spanning seven decades.
Selected from public and private collections the exhibition features works by Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, Jonathan Kumintjarra Brown, Hilda Moodoo, Yvonne Edwards, Ian Howard, Pam Debenham, Toni Robertson, Rosemary Laing, Judy Watson, Kate Shaw, Paul Ogier and others.
A variety of interactive elements will enable visitors to contemplate the impact of atomic testing in Australia on country and people. It places the Australian tests in the context of the wider history of the nuclear arms race and its contemporary realities.
An illustrated exhibition catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Essays by Elizabeth Tynan, Tilman Ruff, Mick Broderick and exhibition curator JD Mittmann will re-trace the history of the British atomic tests, survey responses through visual art and in popular culture, and consider health and policy implications.
The exhibition is curated by JD Mittmann, curator and manager of collections at Burrinja Dandenong Ranges Cultural Centre in Upwey, Victoria. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program and developed through the National Exhibition Touring Support (NETS) Victoria with the financial assistance of the Gordon Darling Foundation.