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HTSA’s Bush Mechanics: the exhibition

Media Release, Bush Mechanics at WOMADelaide, National Motor Museum, January 2022

The History Trust of South Australia’s National Motor Museum is taking its award winning Bush Mechanics exhibition to WOMADelaide.
Based on the popular Australian television series, the touring exhibition has travelled the length and breadth of the country since 2017 and will next join the likes of A.B. Original, Paul Kelly, King Stingray and Electric Fields as part of the exciting line-up at WOMADelaide 2022.

Bush Mechanics: the exhibition was launched in 2017 and features cars and footage from the popular and quirky early noughties television series made by Aboriginal media company Warlpiri Media and director David Batty. “The television series captured the imagination of many Australians at the time with its humorous exploration of the relationship between Aboriginal Australia and motoring,” said National Motor Museum senior curator, Mick Bolognese. “Like the TV series, the exhibition provides insight into the important role cars play in Aboriginal life in Central Australia and the unique skills and tricks required to keep them going. It also uses Warlpiri storytelling to highlight wider issues facing Aboriginal communities.”

“The exhibition is really fun and hands-on – just like the original Bush Mechanics series,” said museum director Paul Rees, “and we’re sure it’s going to be a hit with the audience at WOMADelaide. We took the same light-hearted approach used in the TV series and wove it into the exhibition. One of the vehicles from the screen – on loan from Museums Victoria – will feature in the WOMAD exhibition. Visitors can also interact with original footage from the series, get some behind the scenes knowledge and try their hand at some of the ingenious and resourceful nyurulypa, or tricks, when they play the exhibition’s ‘bush driving simulator’.”

Bush Mechanics has already had a successful run touring Australia, attracting over a million visitors. It has visited the hometown of the Bush Mechanics at Yuendumu, as well as towns and cities in the Northern Territory, the Melbourne Museum, the National Museum in Canberra, Cobb & Co in Toowoomba, the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich Queensland museums, and most recently Newcastle Museum in NSW. It is currently on display at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood until it moves to WOMAD and from there back on tour to several museums in Western Australia throughout 2022 and 2023.

The exhibition has been developed in partnership with Warlpiri Media and is supported by the Federal Government’s Visions of Australia regional touring program.

For more information visit https://motor.history.sa.gov.au/events/bush-mechanics-the-exhibition/

Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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