Gulgandara Ngunmal (before, refers to time and place; fence)
acrylic on canvas
76 x 61cm
There are so many themes that we, Wiradyuri, and our First Nations Sisters and Brothers, are able to explore with the word fence.
Our lands are cut up by them. We were incarcerated within them on the missions and reserves. We are still incarcerated within them.
Our children continue to be stolen from us where a fence of biased legislation is inflicted to separate our children from their families, communities, ceremonies, Lores, Country and Culture.
Our Country suffers from the hard hooves of European livestock; from the materials ripped from the earth to construct fences and associated barriers, as well from the impacts of our decimation through genocidal policies of assimilation in removing us through relocation or massacre, taking away our Countries’ caretakers, protectors, custodians.
Fences always hurt my eyes. They are hard, straight lines of control, unnatural and divisive.
I chose to produce a work that sings to our Countries, Skies, and Waters, of a time and place before fences where Country was healthy, cared for, and intact as were we all – walking our Songlines, practicing our Lores, and fulfilling our Cultural Responsibilities as we continue to do today albeit amidst the duress of colonisation.