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Wandra Wandian / NSW / Australia
Wodi Wodi Gumea Dharawal / NSW / Australia
Year of creation: 2023-ongoing
Mediums: participatory installation with cypress pine from 2019 black summer bushfires, cotton thread, pine and vinyl, 16-channel sound piece
Deep appreciation for time ripples through the spiral of Yadingji. All times vibrate at once, and the present moment is shaped by the lineal notion of what has come before and what will be.
Our old people are with us always. The decisions and actions they made, continue to impact, and shape our present and our future. In this way, we are always connected, we are always in relationship with them and in a moment of deep appreciation.
The spiral in this work holds deep cultural knowledge, which is respected by the artists. Made from the remnants of a Cyprus pine taken during the black summer bushfires of 2019, by Wandra Wandian / Murramarang / Walbunga man, Michael Robinson, who has strong family connections to Djiringanj / Thawa / Kurnai and Wolgal people.
Yadingji artist of Worimi and European descendant Nicole Smede, describes the sound piece:
First they say, after light and divine footsteps, was the word that we
hold, the frequency of stars in our bones. Yet we have no name for
‘word’. Just ‘Her Song’ - the sacred. Older than talk. Her melodies sing,
press mossy earth, sustain the call of bellbirds and wind. Cool as water
her harmonies move, uniting oceans.
Knotted cotton threads connect the past and the future, referencing significant moments of presence and appreciation, and act as a symbol of connectivity. Through participatory dialogues, the public are invited to knot thread to honour memory and knowledge, to be added to the work, creating new connections.
About the artists
A custodian of the Dharrawal / Wandra Wandian and Walbunga Ghadu (ocean/salt water) people with kinship to the Victorian border, Snowy Mountains and La Perouse. Also strong ties with Ngemba people. Michael Robinson is From Nowra.
Michael's work as an Artefacts/Artist and Traditional Tools maker provides important insights into the most compelling cultural practices and embeds contemporary technology to create both traditional and modern artefacts and sculptures.
His Art tells the stories of Country, knowledge passed on through his old people with continuation of culture and connection to the land and sea. A knowledge holder in Artefacts and Traditional Tools, Michael is still using methods of ancient technology in these modern times.
Nicole Smede is a multi-disciplinary artist of Worimi and European descent, living and creating on Yuin Country. Proud of her heritage, she works through language to reconnect to ancestry and culture using voice, song, sound and poetry to explore ideas around landscape, connectedness, and ancestry.
Nicole has performed at Parliament House, City Recital Hall, Mona Foma Festival, and galleries and venues across Australia and her voice has been heard globally on award-winning film scores. Nicole has created meditations, songs, soundscapes and music for podcasts and plays and her poetry can be found in journals, visual and sound pieces, exhibitions, publications and anthologies including Rabbit Journal; Australian Poetry Journal; Guwayu: for all times, Magabala Books (2020); What we Carry, Recent Work Press (2021); and 20x20x12 Sensing Place, Manta Publishing (2021). In 2020, Nicole was the co-recipient of the 2020 Shoalhaven Arts Board Grant, a finalist in the Meroogal Women's Art Prize and shortlisted for the 2020 Red Room Poetry Fellowship. In 2022 Nicole was a recipient of the inaugural Space to Create residency through Australia Council, Yil Lull Studio and ANU. In 2023 Nicole is a participant in Ngarra-Burria First Peoples Composers program working with Ensemble Offspring and a mentee through both the APRA AMCOS Women in Music program and South Coast Writers Centre.