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Admire the Inventiveness
Francis Kelly in Bush Mechanics on ABC TV (Image Supplied)
Bush Mechanics: the exhibition is based on the exceptionally popular ABC TV series of the same name. This travelling exhibition shows the adoption of the motorcar as an integral part of Aboriginal life in Central Australia. After a highly acclaimed season in the Northern Territory, Bush Mechanics: the exhibition will appear for just two weeks in Adelaide for Tarnanthi before moving on to the eastern states.
More than just a showcase of bush ingenuity, the show was a documentary style series with strong elements of comedy, music and magical realism.
Rescuing a Car - the Bush Mechanics Way (Image Supplied)
The travelling 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 is this big monster? It must be sleeping ponders young Jack Jakamarra Ross, before running for dear life.
When the action returns to 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.
Popular local podcast The Adelaide Show went to see the vehicles and meet the people behind the exhibition in May - watch the video below.
You can see Bush Mechanics: the exhibition at Torrens Parade Ground from Tuesday October 17 - Monday October 30, and the best part is that it's one of the free things to do in Adelaide. It's brought to you by the History Trust of South Australia and the National Motor Museum.
Spare Parts Yard for Bush Mechanics (Image Supplied)