Mervyn Street Australian, Gooniyandi, b. 1950
Mervyn Street is a Gooniyandi man. Gooniyandi is one of the two river groups from the country around Fitzroy Crossing. He was born at Louisa Downs Station. Mervyn speaks fluent Gooniyandi as well as English. Mervyn grew up on the stations, the station life is a regular subject in his artworks.
As a part of the exhibition When The Sky Fell: Legacies of the 1967 Referendum at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in 2017 Mervyn produced a mural over a 5 day period which illustrated his work as a stockman and the paradox of inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples at this time as well as the comaraderie between Indigenous and non-Indigenous stockmen at the stations.
Mervyn is an accomplished author, illustrator, carver and painter. He has authored a book entitled ‘Know Your Granny’ about his country and his language. He has also co-produced the book titled ‘At The River’ and illustrated ‘The Girl from The Great Sandy Desert’. Mervyn has used his artwork extensively in Muludja and Yiyili School where he teaches his traditional language.
Mervyn is a father and grandfather, he is an important leader for art and culture in Muludja, Yiyili and Pull Out Springs communities and is a former Chairman of Mangkaja and Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre (KALACC). He has taken a leadership role politically, actively promoting the importance of retaining culture and the many benefits for Indigenous communities to continue living in their remote homelands.