Barambah Pottery is the story of one of the earliest Indigenous art ventures in contemporary Australia, and is a companion to the ‘Barambah <> Cherbourg <> Art <> Craft’ exhibition, on display at Kuril Dhagun (State Library of Queensland's Indigenous Knowledge Centre) in 2016-17.
Barambah, meaning fresh or running water, is the Indigenous name for the area surrounding Cherbourg, the third largest Indigenous community in Queensland, Australia. Barambah Pottery was a commercial training venture in Cherbourg from 1969 to 1987. During this time many local people were employed to create and decorate pottery for both practical and aesthetic use.
The pottery was somewhat anomalous: it was set up through a regular state government departmental process — as was nearly everything officially related to Aboriginal people, especially those living in the reserves system — but was conceived and locally managed by well-known artists, who envisioned it as a place of art making rather than as a government curio production depot. — Bruce McLean, Curator of Indigenous Australian Art at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art.
All proceeds from sales go towards supporting the great work of the Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg.