Sydney’s Indigenous history and culture is set to be celebrated at the Australian Museum, with still images from a film work of Aboriginal women draped in cloth to be projected onto a 20-metre façade.
The key artwork to be displayed is by Sydney-based Wiradjuri artist Nicole Foreshew. The Aboriginal concept of place, tracing personal histories and connections to communities and the features of women draped in cloth imbued with traces of mineral and plant specimens are bound in her art.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the project would remind Sydneysiders and visitors about the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture.
“These projections are part of our Eora Journey program – we’re proud to be working alongside some great artists including Nicole and the program’s curator Hetti Perkins,” she said.
Ms Foreshew’s grandfather is a traditional owner of Peak Hill in the Wiradjuri lands of central NSW. Ms Foreshew said it was important for her work to be projected as it revealed a rich collection of Aboriginal artefacts, including 11 objects and one carved tree from Peak Hill.
“The artwork includes friends and family living in Sydney, Western Sydney and the Central West – all Aboriginal women – who have impacted on my understanding of what we call ‘place’,” she said.
“There has been a resurgence of artists and people in the community reconnecting to, and continuing, their relationship with their Aboriginal identity, so my artwork is always looking at concepts of those places – personal histories and how you connect with things and other communities.
“The artwork responds to the Australian Museum site, because it holds a huge amount of Aboriginal archaeological collections and objects, some of which directly relate to areas where my mum and grandfather were born.”
Director of Australian Museum, Frank Howarth said the museum had a firm commitment to embrace and celebrate the culture of Indigenous Australians.
“From repatriation, to our newly redeveloped Indigenous Australians gallery, we believe that encouraging and demonstrating respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reflects our national identity and diversity of our people, patrons and the community,” he said.
The City’s Eora Journey celebrates the living culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in Sydney. Eora means ‘the people’ in the Gadigal language, so the Eora Journey is translated as ‘the people’s journey’.