Nici Cumpston’s gentle, quietly spoken demeanour belies a fierce and resolute passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the development and recognition of their artistic practice. Born in Adelaide in 1963, Cumpston is a proud Barkandji artist, curator, writer, and educator who is also of Afghan, English and Irish heritage. She is a descendant of the people of the Barka, the Darling River, in far western New South Wales. She has been documenting the Murray Darling Basin and its associated waterways since 2000. Cumpston explains, “The Rivers are our livelihood; like a trusted relative, they support us by providing food, water and shelter. We rely on them to sustain us physically, emotionally and spiritually.