Our Country isn’t young, or free…

A Together In Art Pocket Exhibition curated by Coby Edgar

One of the hardest jobs I have as a curator is to talk about violence and death. Especially murder.

It is not easy. It is also not new.

Artists can make work about whatever they want. When they chose to make work about the darkest moments in our history, who is there to listen? Who do they make the works for? A lot of the time, it’s a memorial for them and their people. An acknowledgement of events. They aren’t making excuses, pointing fingers, they are recording their histories.

This collection of works should make you uncomfortable.

Try to accept it as a reality. It might not be yours, but it is theirs. Let it sit with you. If you can, make space for it.

I am not asking you to hold the burdens of this history. I am asking you to listen to what they have to say. You can drop it at the end of the day, for them, it stays forever.

It is not easy. It is also not new.

Coby Edgar is curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

AGNSW collection Daniel Boyd Sir No Beard 2007
AGNSW collection Daniel Boyd Sir No Beard 2007
AGNSW collection Judy Watson a picnic with the natives - the gulf 2015
AGNSW collection Judy Watson a picnic with the natives - the gulf 2015
AGNSW collection Timmy Timms Mistake Creek Massacre 2000
AGNSW collection Timmy Timms Mistake Creek Massacre 2000
AGNSW collection Wally Wilfred Dhyakiyarr vs The King 2018
AGNSW collection Wally Wilfred Dhyakiyarr vs The King 2018
AGNSW collection Robert Campbell Jnr Map of the massacres of blacks on the Macleay Valley 1991
AGNSW collection Robert Campbell Jnr Map of the massacres of blacks on the Macleay Valley 1991
AGNSW collection Ricky Maynard The Healing Garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania 2005, printed 2009
AGNSW collection Ricky Maynard The Healing Garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania 2005, printed 2009