Barkindji Blue Sky
9 October - 9 November 2019
Indigenous knowledge is routinely challenged or ignored in Australia. To address this, structural change is required to prioritise Indigenous philosophies, lived experiences and knowledge systems.
My art practice reveals the continuing presence and patterns of Aboriginal history, culture and knowledge in the contemporary Australian landscape, despite ongoing colonial interventions in the physical and political environment.
The shapes and structures of the built environment are being reconstructed to reflect the present and long standing systems, shapes and designs of the first people of Australia. The new configurations of the built environment, the forms and technologies that colonialism brought with it, are being re-imagined and reshaped through a First Nations lens to reflect the long history of Indigenous knowledge in Australia and to reaffirm presence, identity and connectivity.
The interaction of native birds with the built environment reflects resilience, adaption, continuity and change to ecological systems. Learning from the rhythm and habits of native birds in a variety of spaces, I experiences how birds have adapted to the built environment, to technology and colonialism, reflecting on the ways in which Indigenous culture survives and adapts.
This series was photographed on Kurnu Barkindji country in Bourke over Easter where descendants of Jacky and Kitty Knight gathered for a family reunion.
Kurnu Barkindji people were many, then were very few, we are now many again and connection to our ancestors continues across generations, cycling through time, past, present and future. We discover, reunite, share family histories and remain linked via many means, including new technologies. Our ancestors watch over us under a Barkindji blue sky.
My artworks are constructed from a single photograph taken while walking on Country. Apart from basic editing, digital information has not been added to, or subtracted from, the original photograph.
Image: Kent Morris, Barkindji Blue Sky - Ancestral Connections 3 2019, archival print on rag, 100 x 150 cm.