Open Bronc, by Nancy McDinny (Borroloola)
Artist - Nancy McDinny
Nancy is an established artist and a respected keeper of language and cultural knowledge. In her paintings she shares Dreaming stories, and the traditions she learnt from her parents and grandparents, including hunting, fishing, and collecting bush tucker. Nancy is an outspoken advocate for her people and country. She is a major voice in the Frack Free and anti-mining movements; her recent works often depict these themes.
Nancy currently lives with her husband Stewart at Sandridge Outstation near Borroloola.
Nancy created this design in September 2017 during a screenprinting workshop in Katherine run by Tim Growcott and Millie Shorter, facilitated by Magpie Goose in partnership with Katherine Regional Arts. This is her first foray into large scale textile design.
Art story - Open Bronc
“This Open Bronc design is the history of my countrymen’s first job: working out on stations as ringers and out on the flat, branding cattle. In the olden days, when people didn’t have cars out bush, they used the bronc horse to rope and pull in wild cattle. Because it was too far to drove the wild cattle back to the station (to brand), they’d find a big flat area, rope the cattle in, build a big fire, put the branding iron in, and brand them out bush! One ringer would go out with the horse, gallop real fast, and rope the wild bullock, and pull it back to the flat. Another two would get the rope, and get the front and back legs, knock him down and brand him. After they branded the bullock, they would drove them back to the station, then out to Cloncurry or Townsville in QLD. Sometimes they’d be out droving for six months, or one year!
My grandfather and father used to tell me these stories – of the open bronc- and I saw it myself too out at Greenbank station near where I grew up. Some of the old people didn’t know how to ride, because they were sea people! In those days they didn’t get paid, they just worked for flour, tea and sugar.”