Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition

Bush Mechanics is currently on display at the Melbourne Museum in Victoria. 


Where: Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre, Melbourne Museum, Nicholson St, Carlton, VIC

When: 9 March – 15 July 2018

Cost: Included with Museum entry.

For more information visit Melbourne Museum’s website here.

About Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition

Bush Mechanics: The Exhibition is based on the incredibly popular ABC TV series of the same name. It shows the adoption of the motorcar as an integral part of Aboriginal life in Central Australia. More than just a showcase of bush ingenuity, the show was a documentary-style series with strong elements of comedy, music and magical realism.

The exhibition will show the ingenuity of the bush mechanics in the context of Warlpiri storytelling, music and art and wider issues (motoring and non-motoring) affecting Aboriginal Australians.

At the start of the series, a Warlpiri elder narrates his very first encounter with the motorcar in the Central Desert. What’s this big monster? It must be sleeping ponders young Jack Jakamarra Ross, before running for dear life. When the action returns to the present day, young Warlpiri men are confidently applying makeshift (but very effective) ‘nyurulypa’ – good tricks to keep their cars running. In Australia’s remote centre, where spanners and trolley jacks are few and far between, mulga, spinifex and sand become tools and spare parts.

The National Motor Museum has developed the exhibition in close partnership with Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri (PAW) Media, the original producers of the series.

Bush Mechanics Exhibition on The Adelaide Show Podcast episode…

You've probably seen Bush Mechanics : from Warlpiri Media Association on ABC TV or ABC iview, but now you can get closer to the experience at the Bush Mechanics exhibition at the National Motor Museum – Australia in Birdwood. In tonight's episode, we lift the bonnet and kick up some dust around the many life themes this show brings to the surface; survival, ingenuity, outback, Aboriginal culture, trends in museum exhibitions, storytelling, and the lost but recoverable art of tinkering. In the meantime, here's a quick, personal tour with curator, Mick Bolognese.PS And apologies to Mick for misspelling his surname in the video titles. Need to slow down to "bush time" to avoid such mistakes of haste!

Posted by The Adelaide Show Podcast on Tuesday, 23 May 2017


National Tour:

Next stop:  National Museum of Australia Canberra, ACT

In 2017 it went to:

14-15 July – Yuendumu, NT Yuendumu Recreation Hall

20-22 July – Tennant Creek, NT Tennant Creek Civic Hall

27-29 July – Darwin, NT Royal Darwin Show

August – Alice Springs, NT Road Transport Hall of Fame

17-30 October Adelaide, SA Tarnanthi Torrens Parade Grounds


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