The name 'Mittagong' (a village town of the Southern Highlands) comes from an Aboriginal word meaning 'little mountain'. Other suggested meanings are 'a companion' and 'plenty of native dogs', as the Mittagong range was home to many dingoes at one time.
In Aboriginal culture, the dingo and the possum are often humanised animal spirits that are seldom seen, with the dingo, in particular, depicted as lawless and untamed. This is why men in Arnhem Land will jokingly say to each other, 'fnhe watu', literally meaning 'you dog'. A canine, meanwhile, is a wild animal that is controlled and domesticated. How do you domesticate a wild animal? By feeding it, thereby making and keeping it dependent? A dog on a leash is constantly reminded of the length and limits it is tied to.
Ngununggula Nights, the soon to be favourite Friday Night event, will offer a program of Live Music, Cinema, and Teen takeover events. Hosted in collaboration with Hearth Café, the gallery will come alive in the night. It’s a perfect way to kickstart your weekend.
Ngununggula Nights will take place across the site from January 2022.
Not interested in weekend sport?
Then come dive into art activities with our Saturday workshops. Get creative, experiment with different materials and most importantly, have fun! Develop your skills through activities including painting, collage, sculpting, printmaking, and drawing!
In partnership with the National Art School, Ngununggula presents Goya's Dog, John Olsen's latest survey exhibition. Conceptualised by the late William Wright AM and brought to fruition by the National Art School's Director Steven Alderton, Goya's Dog launched at the National Art School in June 2021 before travelling to the Southern Highlands.
Goya's Dog is a powerful exploration of an extraordinary Australian artist, from his creative awakening in Spain, through the darkness that threatened to overwhelm him at times, and to his chance of reaching for the light, pursuing a long and acclaimed career.
Abdul-Rahman and Abdul Abdullah are highly regarded in their own right but are rarely presented side by side. Ngununggula invites the brothers to present alongside an acclaimed Australian artist that has had a significant influence on their practice. Tracey Moffatt AO, an acclaimed artist and Australian representative for the 57th Venice Biennale, has long been this influence.
Moffatt, known well for striking a chord with her views, boldly positions issues of race, identity, and sexuality within historical and present-day cultural politics. With this grouping of artists, their work draws on collective memory and experience, unpacking how the representation and perpetuation of culture, knowledge, and tradition can be transferred through storytelling.
Australian artists Ken Done and Rosie Deacon are well known for their bold colour palettes and ability to capture the quintessential Australian experience. However, one little known fact is their admiration of each other's practice. Done's iconic harbourside paintings, beach fashion and beer commercials have long been sources of inspiration for Deacon.