Mary Mumbulla and Murri Craigie, from the series The Big Deal is Black
Brenda L Croft works closely with her family, friends and Indigenous community members to create her images. The work 'Mary Mumbulla and Murri Craigie' is drawn from the series 'The big deal is Black' 1993. First exhibited in 1993 at the Australian Centre for Photography, this series focuses on the strong matrilineal connections within Aboriginal families and allows the viewer an intimate insight into family life. The works mainly depict Sydney-based Aboriginal women in their roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins and grandmothers. In their familiar surroundings and at ease in front of the camera, Croft's subjects provide a realistic portrayal of contemporary Aboriginal life.
Croft has said this series 'is about letting you see something of us on our own terms.' This approach is in direct contrast to the studio and documentary photographs taken of Aboriginal people in the 19th century which are dominated by staged scenes presenting a false image of Aboriginal life.
R3 colour photograph
99.5 x 120.5 cm sight; 100.8 x 121.4 x 2.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
© Brenda L. Croft. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Recent Acquisitions of Aboriginal Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Jul 1993–12 Sep 1993
Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Mar 1995–04 Jun 1995
Another Country, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Jul 1999–02 Apr 2000
Referenced in 3 publications
Hannah Fink, One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, ‘Self-evident: Indigenous artists and the photographic image’, pg. 310-321, Sydney, 2007, 318, 319 (colour illus.).
Wayne Tunnicliff, Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia, 'Brenda L. Croft', pg. 42, Sydney, 2004, 42, 43 (colour illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Daphne Wallace, Margo Neale, Victoria Lynn and Sandra Byron, Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, List of works, Sydney, 1995, 19.