barkindji

Living in the Shadows opening/artist talk at the black eye gallery

I was honoured to have the first exhibition of the Living in the Shadows series at the black eye gallery in Sydney as a culmination of the POOL Grant I received last year to work on the series. 

There was an incredible turnout both for the opening night and the artist talk a few days later. Along with the usual social interactions there was a large amount of discussion around the subject of Aboriginal people living in Australia and the issues they face, which is what I had hoped for. 

Thanks to all those that made it out, lets keep the discussion going. 

Opening Night

Artist talk

An abandoned stroller lay half buried in silt in what is normally the bottom of the Darling river in Wilcannia, New South Wales, Australia. Drought conditions and upriver irrigation projects have left the river dry in Wilcannia. The psychological impact is significant to the Barkindji people whose culture is bound to the Darling: the term Barkindji literally translates to “people of the river”. February 10, 2014 | David Maurice Smith/Oculi.

#livingintheshadows #river #darling #personal #photography #poolgrant #thepoolcollective #barkindji #reportage

“Weaving my fish is like representing Mildura. I grew up in Mildura, so the Murray River has always been a part of me. I’m a Barkindji woman too so our people lived on the Darling River as well. Fish are very important to me. With the baskets, my Aunty Claire taught me how to do it 2 years ago. I love doing it, it’s a real healing feeling that I get when I’m doing it. Now that Ive been taught how to do it, I can’t seem to stop it.”

yeah i tick the box

There was all this camp fire talk about our people. About how people are doing really good things for our people. Anyway someone mentioned my name and i was just like what? I am not doing anything, i just make Art you know. And their like, but that is something. And i felt really proud. Like WOW. I’d love to do something for my people. And i realised its just about being, and doing… Anything. That it all sort of adds up. And then when people ask us, you just own it. And thats it. Thats all it is. Its just about owning it. So theres another somebody out their doing something, being strong and proud for our people. Its like Bindi Cole asked me if i ticked the box. You know that box thats on every form. And i am like yeah i tick the box and she’s like “see, i think thats important”.