20 November 2013 - 20 February 2014
8:00pm - 11:00pm nightly
Larger-than-life images of Aboriginal women draped in cloth will be projected onto the 20-metre façade of the Australian Museum to celebrate the importance of Sydney's Indigenous history and culture.
The blank, windowless wall of the Australian Museum on William Street in Sydney, will be transformed by stills from an original film work, born in darkness before dawn, 2013, by Sydney-based Wiradjuri artist Nicole Foreshew. The work explores the Aboriginal concept of place, tracing personal histories and connections to communities and features women draped in cloth imbued with traces of mineral and plant specimens.
The work is part of the City of Sydney's Eora Journey Recognition in the Public Domain which celebrates the living culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Sydney.
born in darkness before dawn, 2013 is a muted sepia-rich architectural projection approximately three hours in duration, combining slow movement and still imagery. The visual content ‘cloth’ is illuminated to emphasize the transition of space, as it is always moving between the social relationships which are generated within the logic of place: revolving around people occupying, owning, seizing, developing, losing or transforming a space.
Exploring the importance of engagement between material culture and people today, the work translates concepts of place, tracing personal histories and connections to various communities in New South Wales. Women – family, friends and people I know from Sydney and Western Sydney were invited to place themselves into the cloth. These women have impacted on my understanding of ‘place’.
The body is used to perform the absence of place and the cloth is used to explore the language of movement and illumination. Dyed cloth from bark and leaves, found in gutters, water drains and the bottom of trees infuse design elements referencing the growth and structure of plant organisms and remains.
I am a descendant of the Wiradjuri nation, my grandfather was born on the banks on the Bogan River in Peak Hill. My grandmother and great grandmother are from Dubbo, located in Central West New South Wales. The Australian Museum holds approximately 25,000 ethnographic objects and 20,000 archaeological collections, representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
The Australian Museum has 11 objects and one carved tree from Peak Hill. The Australian Museum’s Mineralogy and Palaeontology collection include Talbragar fossils from New South Wales a Jurassic Period site near Gulgong. My current artistic practice involves environmentally sustainable plant materials and minerals which are used to permeate objects for performance.
The Australian Museum is the nation's oldest natural history museum and holds about 25,000 ethnographic objects and 20,000 archaeological collections representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. The museum was established in 1827 when the British Colonial Office authorised a museum in NSW for the collection of "rare and curious specimens of natural history".
born in darkness before dawn, 2013 (Still)
Nicole Foreshew, Artist