By all accounts Bungaree was a man of firsts. He was the first person ever recorded in print as being an Australian. He was the first person born in Australia to circumnavigate the country, with Matthew Flinders.
And he was the first Aborigine to be granted land by the colonial powers, at Mosman in 1815. "Bungaree was a man of many faces," says John Cheeseman, director of the Mosman Art Gallery. "Some people see him as a hero, as intrepid, as valiant, as brave and adventurous and other people within Aboriginal society have seen him as a sell out." But while his story is significant in Australia's colonial history, it has never been explored from an Aboriginal perspective, Mr Cheeseman says. Until now.
Fifteen contemporary Indigenous artists were invited to create new works exploring and interpreting the life and story of the controversial figure, in an exhibition curated by Djon Mundine.