Naarm Melbourne, Australia
Hayley Millar-Baker is of Gunditjmara, Brazilian, Anglo-Indian, and European (Scottish and English) descent from Victoria, Australia. Her practice is influenced and informed by her Koorie heritage and her own experience, existing in a colonised contemporary urban culture.
Engaging with personal subjects surrounding my existence as an ‘urbanised’ Aboriginal, my practice is focused in photo-media investigations and interrogations of both personal and collective realities and re-imaginings - confronting past, present, and future stories of Aboriginal existence within south-east Australia. By utilising photographic imagery as a shared language through its factuality and role in authoring representations, I use digital technologies to recount (to give the facts through narrative) and revive (to bring back into notice) story-telling through the process of photographic assemblage. I explore themes of cultural beliefs, connection to country, identity, relationships, cultural practices and values, displacement, alienation, oppression, and social confinement in relation to my own Aboriginal heritage.
As a Gunditjmara artist raised off Country, I am well versed in the complexities of identity that stem from growing up Aboriginal in a contemporary urban culture. It is this experience, in life and learning, that has fuelled my practice. Drawing inspiration from my embodied connection to the land of my ancestors, I direct my lens in a way that allows later adaptation through the construction of assemblages. Revealing personal re-imaginings of my story and my culture I acknowledge traditional story-telling through a contemporary lens.
Hayley is a finalist in the 2017 The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, and was also selected as a finalist in the 2017 Darebin Art Prize, 2017 Incinerator Art Award: Art for Social Change, 2017 Pro Hart Outback Art Prize, 2017 Maddocks Art Prize, and the 2014 Victorian Indigenous Art Award.
Hayley has also exhibited as part of the 2017 TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, the 2017 HoBiennale, 2017 Ballarat International Foto Biennale, 2017 Yirramboi Festival, and will participate in the 2018 Sydney Festival.
Hayley completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) at RMIT University in 2010, Master of Teaching (Visual Arts) at The University of Melbourne in 2015, and has recently completed a Master of Fine Arts at RMIT University.