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Unvanished

Arts and Culture
First Nations
Outdoors
Arts and Culture
First Nations
Outdoors

Dates

Friday 27 May 2022
7pm - 11:59pm

28 May 2022 - 5 June 2022
Daily
24 Hours

Venue

Main Square

“We are here, we have always been here, but too often we and our stories are unseen and unknown. We have not vanished.” – Kent Morris.

Marking the beginning of Reconciliation Week, the new sculpture, Unvanished, by Barkindji artist Kent Morris and Studio John Fish will be unveiled at Fed Square and will be available for the public to view from 7pm on 27 May.

Featuring a bespoke sonic composition by James Henry, dynamic light design, and augmented reality (AR) overlayed technology by creative technology company PHORIA, the powerful artwork will stand as a reminder of the strength and resilience of First Nations people, knowledges and culture – and their ongoing connection to the land, water and sky.

The AR filter will allow you to use your devices to explore the artwork in digital ways.

UNVANISHED
Words by Kent Morris

We are here, we have always been here, but too often we and our stories are unseen and unknown. We have not vanished. The design transforms my photographic practice into three dimensions manipulating elements from suburban residential infrastructure into new forms that reflect aspects of first peoples cultural knowledge and heritage and reinforce presence and cultural continuity since time immemorial.

The central form references industrially produced building materials and connects residential architecture with south-eastern indigenous design elements on shields, boomerangs and spears; objects of identity, invention resilience and survival. The three repeated sculptural forms refer to first nations knowledge and its continuation through time, past, present and future.

As the worlds first astronomers, indigenous australians have many creation stories relating to our ancient native birds including the sulphur-crested cockatoo. Ancestral astronomical stories from the south-east link them to the southern cross and pointer stars. They are either the five stars of the southern cross or the two pointer stars (alpha and beta centauri). They give direction for safe travels and invite a connection to the greater universe. They also inspire an ongoing narrative that can unify and provide a common ground for us to all look up together as a community and rethink our relationships to history and place. The proximity of the project to the birrarung is critical. The importance of water for well being and cultural identity is central for so many first nations communities around the country. When waterways are healthy, physical and spiritual and cultural well being can be maintained. Water is also linked to thoughtful reflection and the flow of first nations knowledge, with rivers, creeks and their interconnecting tributaries continuing the retention, transmission and sharing of knowledge.

I would hope ‘unvanished’ engages those on their daily travels and encourages them to reflect on their physical and spiritual position between the land, water and sky and on the truth of our histories and stories which are firmly located in place, in all places, for all time.

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