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"Capemba Bumbarra" 2023

Wall text

Wall text

Sonja Carmichael

Born 1958, Brisbane, Turrbal and Yuggera Country.

Ngugi, Quandamooka. Lives and works in Mooloomba, Quandamooka Country. 

Pronouns: she/her

Elisa Jane Carmichael   

Born 1987, Brisbane, Turrbal and Yuggera Country. 

Ngugi, Quandamooka. Lives and works in Brisbane, Turrbal and Yuggera Country, and Mooloomba, Quandamooka Country. 

Pronouns: she/her


"Capemba Bumbarra" 2023


digitally printed silk


Courtesy of the artists and Onespace Gallery, Brisbane. 

Suspended from the ceiling of UQ Art Museum foyer, Sonja and Elisa Jane Carmichael’s Capemba Bumbarra welcomes visitors in to the exhibition that unfolds inside. In this work, the artists capture the ancestral significance of Capemba (Myora Springs) Bumbarra (pathways), an intertidal zone where the land meets the sea on Minjerribah/Terangeri (North Stradbroke Island). Since time immemorial Capemba has been a significant food and water source for Quandamooka people, and an environment where generations of the artists’ kin have storied, created, and cared for each other on Country.


Elisa Jane and Sonja Carmichael explain the significance of Capemba Bumbarra: 


Capemba Bumbarra flows through Country where freshwater meets saltwater in the beautiful wetlands of Minjerribah/ Terangeri. The freshwater spring meets tidal pathways flowing through the bush, mangroves, out into the bay of Quandamooka. This spring has been running for thousands of years and is full of living beings and stories of family gatherings, history and changing times with colonisation.

The pure freshwater spring provided drinking water and food sources from surrounding waters for our Ancestors. We hear stories of our family and Elders travelling from the mission to Capemba to access fresh water from the spring. Along the banks we see an ancient shell midden where Ancestors gathered.

Today a road is bridged above these trickling waters. As the freshwater bubbles of the spring connect with rising tides rippling out into the bay we feel the presence of Ancestors, with their love and care for Capemba. 


Listen to the wall text

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