Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery

I speak to uncover the mouths of silence 2021

Rope, river reed, fishing line, steel, steel wool, glass

New permanent gallery Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), Launceston

Images: QVMAG

Some of the strands in narratives of Australian colonisation have been ongoing denials and silences about the existence and presence of Tasmanian Aboriginal people and culture. This installation acts to interrupt and to counter any ongoing silencing and denial.

Like tears of rain, the longitudinal, translucent elements navigate and represent complex twists and turns that have resulted from misrepresentations about my people in Australian history. The continuing strength and resilience of my sea and river connected peoples are symbolically woven, bound and anchored amongst hand-made fibres of rope, river reed and fishing line.

Metallic webs of industrially-produced steel wool hold histories of the enforced domestic servitude of many Australian Indigenous women and speak to documented attempts to ‘scrub out’ Palawa existence and identity.

Despite harsh histories that we share, I seek to move towards acceptance and acknowledgement of history and to uncover the mouths of silence.