NAIDOC WEEK – 2017 @ MARS
1 – 8 July 2017
GENEVIEVE GRIEVES | LAMENT
‘This work was inspired by a point in the West Australian landscape I was introduced to by my friend and sister, Dianne Jones. This particular site is in Dianne’s Country. A place she and her family are connected to inherently; the place of their Ancestors. But with the coming of the Europeans, Country changed and new experiences and memories were etched into the landscape. In this case, a tragedy unfolded that has waited to be explored.
We were able to visit this place briefly. It is on rich, lush Country deep within a pastoral property – difficult to access and undisturbed. If it were a room, there would be furniture sitting covered in sheets and a layer of dust inches thick; it is almost as if the occupants left some time ago, but their presence remains.
lament comes from my connection to Dianne, her family, her uncovering of the story of this place and my brief encounter with it. But I am also drawing upon a vast reservoir of shared knowledge and experience, brought forth through connections to my friends and family, my exploration of this nation’s history and to places I have been where I have felt the presence of these scars in the landscape; sites of tragedy that are often unmarked and usually wilfully forgotten.
The piece is also very much inspired by the dancer, Yaraan Bundle. Knowing Yaraan – her connection to culture, her beauty and grace as an artist – has been a key element in the development of this work. Yaraan has talked to me about dancing on Country and what this means to her on a spiritual level, and I asked her to dance in one of the oldest colonial buildings in the nation. She held this space with strength and brought her own connections and knowledge to this piece. She dances for the individuals in this story we are reflecting on, but she is also dancing for us all.
lament is an act of memorialisation; an act of remembrance. As it is through the recognition of what has gone before – however difficult this journey may be – that we can mourn, heal and find some peace within and between our selves.’
Genevieve Grieves is Worimi – traditionally from mid north coast New South Wales -but she has lived on Kulin country in Melbourne for many years. She is an Indigenous artist, researcher, educator, curator, film-maker and oral historian who has accumulated twenty years experience in the arts and culture industries. Genevieve has consistently won awards for her work.
In 2013, Genevieve created lament, a 7 minute 3 channel video installation for the exhibition what lies buried rises curated by Nyoongah artist, Dianne Jones. The piece is an active work of memorialisation, filmed within the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, the site of the first Parliament of Australia, and featuring the dancer and culture woman, Yaraan Bundle. The audio track is taken from the site of violence where Sarah Cook, her child and two Aboriginal men, Doodjeep and Barrabong, charged with their murder, were killed.