Migratory Wonderings


WHEN: 11am-6pm 10 Nov 2016 – 20 Nov 2016


Official Opening Friday 11th November | 6–8pm.

Exhibition open Thursday 10th November - Sunday 20th November.

Gallery open Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm | Sunday 11am–4pm.

Migratory Wonderings offers an encounter of country through a series of works developed on Culpra Station in regional NSW. The works were made through an interdisciplinary mapping workshop in collaboration with the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation and exhibited at Mildura Arts Centre as Interpretive Wonderings. Framed as acts of critical cartography, these mappings seek to contest dominant and hegemonic power structures inherent in conventional cartography by opening a space of encounter through interpretation.

In migrating the work to 107 Projects in Redfern, a further spatial encounter is offered between Australia’s regional and urban Indigenous contexts, presenting a space in which new interpretations and formulations might be created in relation to Redfern’s history and urban context. The selected works explore multivalent connections to country which are made explicit through both literal and conceptual acts of migration, simultaneously realizing incremental shifts in non-indigenous understanding of Aboriginal cultural knowledge and its specific relationship to country.

The works of Eddy Harris and Warlpa Thomson provide an Indigenous perspective of country through spatial and material relationships to time – a continuity also evoked in Mick Douglas’s work exploring generational relationships within community. The work of Langslow and Drake inverts temporal relationships in exploring themes of ownership and possession, revealed through the remains of a 1950s Datsun Station Wagon, and particularized through the artefact’s migratory passage to a new time and space. Singing to Country explores and challenges the territorial through the relationship between country and language, while Tom Cole’s Extract piece likewise explores territories of knowledge. In a very literal sense, Sam Trubridge’s performance work Night Walk can be read as being migratory in its operation, and by exploring territory and revealing difference but also by drawing together a sense of the relationship between particular urban and regional contexts.

Like its progenitor, Enduring Wonderings seeks to open up spaces of encounter, spaces in which Paul Keating’s injunction to non-indigenous Australians, expressed through The Redfern Speech to “try to imagine the Aboriginal view…to recognize the wisdom contained in their epic story”, might be enacted. As such, the project seeks to lend weight in practical terms, through collaboration and knowledge sharing, to a larger project of reconciliation through mutual understanding.

This project was produced in collaboration with Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation and the Mildura Rural City Council. Visitors should be aware that this exhibition includes images and names that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Project Team: Campbell Drake, Jock Gilbert, Sophia Pearce, Sven Mehzoud. Exhibiting Artists : Thomas Cole, Mick Douglas, Campbell Drake, Eddy Harris, Thomas Honeyman Elizabeth Langslow, Jeremy Taylor, Warlpa Thomson & Matt Wood.

This project is supported by West Darling Arts, Western Local Land Services, the University of Technology Sydney (School of Design and Jumbana), RMIT University (Landscape Architecture Program) and Monash University (MADA).