Congratulations! Professor Brenda L. Croft is the winner of Work on Paper award at NATSIAA

Professor Brenda Croft is the winner of the Work on Paper awards at the 2023 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA) for herpiece ‘blood/memory: Brenda & Christopher II (Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra; Mara/Nandi/Ngarrindjeri/Ritharrngu; Anglo-Australian/Chinese/German/Irish/Scottish) 2021’ 2022, a self-portrait of Brenda and her son, created with the assistance of Prue Hazelgrove and Darkstar Digital.

“I use the medium of photography to tell a particular story. This work is of great personal importance to me and resonates with experiences of my father’s story as a First Nations Stolen Generations member in the Northern Territory dating back almost a century. The image is of my son/great-nephew/grandson as I am Christopher's mother/great-aunt/grandmother,” Brenda said.

Brenda is from the Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples from the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia and Anglo-Australian/ Chinese/German/Irish/ Scot heritage.

Professor of Indigenous Art History & Curatorship at The Australian National University (ANU) School of Art & Design, Brenda has spent four decades as a multi-disciplinary creative-led researcher, whose practice encompasses critical performative Indigenous autoethnography, First Nations Storywork/Storying and embodied cultural archaeology.

Her creative-led research is grounded in long-standing culturally respectful engagement with Australian and international First Nations communities, especially patrilineal family and community members.

Her artist statement reads –

blood/memory: Christopher is my son/great-nephew/grandson, I am Christopher's mother/great-aunt/grandmother. His great-grandmother is my father's older sister. They shared the same non-Indigenous father, different First Nations mothers, but still looked like peas in a pod. Our combined bloodlines include Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra peoples and Anglo-Australian/Chinese/German/Irish/Scot for me, Mara/Nandi/Ngarrindjeri/Ritharrngu and Anglo-Australian/Irish for Christopher. My grandfather/Christopher's great-great-grandfather's journey into the Northern Territory over a century ago is reflected in this portrait. It is a gift to share Christopher's life and I learn from him every day – blood/memory. Marntaj.

In 2024, Brenda will be travelling to Harvard University to be the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair of Australian Studies.

“I am looking forward to expanding my horizons with this upcoming trip and it will be a great learning experience,” Brenda said.