Mobilizing a “Spiritual Geography”

The Art and Child Artists of the Carrolup Native School and Settlement, Western Australia

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  • 1 Colgate University
  • | 2 Mungart Boodja Arts Centre
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As a result of removal and custody of Noongar children from their families and lands—forced mobilities and immobilties over decades, and within days and nights—a distinctive and beautiful artistic heritage emerged. This material heritage, too, was moved through and from Noongar country. Illustrated by the art of Carrolup, the culture and identity of the Noongar people has been transcendent and a “spiritual geography” mapped. As “heart returns home” to Noongar country, there are opportunities for new approaches to the reconciliation of the past for the future. The beauty of the art and the story of Carrolup teach, inspire, and provoke. These mobilities and immobilities hold lessons that continue to travel.

Contributor Notes

Ellen Percy Kraly is a professor of geography and environmental studies at Colgate University, New York. E-mail:

Ezzard Flowers is chairperson of the Mungart Boodja Arts Centre, Albany, Western Australia, and is a Noongar leader in the Great Southern Region. As a youth, he was removed from his family to Marribank Mission, a subsequent iteration of the Carrolup Native Settlement.


Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies

  • Croft, Brenda. Indigenous Art: Art Gallery of Western Australia. Perth: Art Gallery of Western Australia, 2001.

  • Haebich, Anna. Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families, 18002000. Fre-mantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2000.

  • Miller, Mary Durack, and Florence Rutter. Child Artists of the Australian Bush. Sydney: Australasian Publishing, 1952.

  • Pushman, Tracie, and Robyn Smith Walley. “Koorah Coolingah (Children Long Ago).” University of Western Australia, Berndt Museum of Anthropology, Occasional Paper no. 8 (2006).

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  • Stanton, John, and Sandra Hill. “Aboriginal Artists of the South-West: Past and Present.” University of Western Australia, Berndt Museum of Anthropology, Occasional Paper no. 5 (2000).

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