Artist talks: When silence falls
Exploring the capacity of art to bear witness to horror
When silence falls presents works by artists from across the globe who respond to the inherent violence of often unacknowledged events – massacres, ethnic cleansing, cultural displacement, political force – and provide a voice for those who have been silenced.
Hear three of the artists in the exhibition talk about their work and how it responds to these dark histories.
Image: Tony Albert. Photo: Mark Pokorny
Waanyi artist Judy Watson is recognised as one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, known for her printmaking, painting and installations. Her works have an ethereal quality and delicately trace her matrilineal connection to country, unveiling hidden histories and remembering the past. Her painting in the exhibition, a picnic with the natives – the gulf 2015, is imbued with sadness, with the weight of terrible events and the ongoing and real pain of the heirs to this history, yet it is acutely beautiful. Tonight, Judy talks more about this powerful work.
Wednesday 24 February 2016 5:30pm – 6pm
Frontier Wars (Flying Fox Story Place) 2014 is a collaborative work by Sydney-based artist Tony Albert and Aurukun-based Alair Pambegan, which comments on the colonial wars that have taken place in Australia, as Indigenous people defiantly defended country. The work draws on the ancestral histories of the Winichiam clan, of which Pambegan is a member; his family has responsibility for Kalben, the location that relates to the flying fox. It is also strongly influenced by Yininmadyemi Thou didst let fall 2015, Albert’s public artwork in Sydney’s Hyde Park, which memorialises and honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have served their country. Tonight, Tony Albert talks about his and Pambegan’s installation.
Wednesday 2 March 2016 5:30pm – 6pm
Acclaimed artist Ben Quilty lives and works near Fairy Bower Falls, an idyllic and spectacular destination for tourists and locals in the Southern Highlands of NSW. It is also reputedly the site of a massacre of scores of Aboriginal people in the early 19th century. Although there are no written records, there has been a strong oral history of such an event handed down amongst locals. Hear Ben discuss the story behind his work Fairy Bower Rorschach 2012 in the exhibition.
Wednesday 9 March 2016 5:30pm – 6pm