You’re not from here are you?

an exhibition by Chips Mackinolty and Therese Ritchie 2000

 
 

An examination of the different ways people view and use the Northern Territory landscape, You’re not from here are you? consists of 16 large works on paper. At times playful, at times serious, this exhibition moves across the Territory from the desert to the sea.

The title of the show was drawn from an episode witnessed by Darwinites Jenny Blockland and Jamie Gallacher on their morning walk at Fannie Bay beach: a white council inspector hassling a group of Aboriginal people on the beach with the immortal words: “You’re not from here are you?”

“We do it differently up here” is the oft-repeated mantra of the political elite of the Territory as a bulwark against criticism or interference from the “do-gooder Southerners”. But who is really “from here” to do it so differently? And are those “differences” mere imaginings of visiting tourists and others newly arrived, or are they from those who are really “from here”?