APRIL 2015

This work was created on the 2015 Gold Coast Indigenous Artist Camp under the mentorship of International artist Fiona Foley.

The work was shown as a short film in at the Gold Coast city Gallery in My Story Exhibition.

When I tread on country I am re-telling myself stories I have heard from my family. I am re-membering things that have been passed down to me, bringing them into consciousness. I am wondering what my Ancestors were thinking, feeling and doing here before me and how much of that I carry with me now and into the future.

During the week on Sth Straddie we spoke of the history of post-contact Australia and I contemplated further on my Grandfather and Grandmothers and wondered how they felt about decisions they made and were forced to make. I contemplated on how, as a result, I had carried a sense of being disconnected and denied into the present and why I had not always been able to understand this feeling.

The process of creating this artwork was a personal ceremony – a culmination of my experience on the island and of my experiences of growing up in my extended family where some things were known and understood implicitly. Creating this work then became a means to share with others what being on country that week meant for me. It is important to me that this work is made from our saltwater country – seaweed, mangroves, washed up debris and that the work is ephemeral.

This work is an expression of my story and connection to country and shows that what went before me is still present. Country and culture that was trodden and cared for by Ancestors is very much alive today despite that country and culture being trodden on and access 
denied to our people through its appropriation under British law.

The opportunity to participate in the artists camp and create this work enabled me to place the feeling of being denied into cultural and socio-historical context, and to re-present part of my family story through a ceremony of art-making.