Arresting slow-moving images of an Aboriginal woman draped in cloth are currently being projected onto the grand, 20-metre sandstone façade of the Australian Museum until early 2014. The muted, sepia-toned projections are a work by Sydney-based Wiradjuri artist Nicole Foreshew, called born in the darkness before dawn (2013). In the artist’s words “they explore the Aboriginal concept of place, tracing personal histories and connections to various communities in New South Wales”.
The woman in the projections, wrapped in the cloth imbued with traces of minerals and plant materials, is a friend of the artist who has impacted her understanding of ‘place’. Nicole says that bodies in the work perform the absence of ‘place’ and the dyed ‘cloth’ from bark and leaves, found in gutters, water drains and at the bottom of trees, reference the remains of fossils and prehistoric living things.
Nicole’s grandfather is a traditional owner of Peak Hill in the Wiradjuri lands of Central NSW. She felt it was important for her work to illuminate the wall of the Australian Museum because it has such a rich collection of Aboriginal artefacts – some of which come from the areas where Nicole’s Mum and Grandfather were born, including 11 objects and one carved tree.
The projections are the second City Art public art project for the Eora Journey; Recognition in the Public Domain program curated by Hetti Perkins, that celebrates the living culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The projections will run every night from 8-11pm until 20 February 2014. For more information visit the City Art website.