In my paintings, I reconfigure colonial depictions of first contact in the Americas, embedding the work with folklore and personal histories in a bid to disrupt colonial narratives. Painted during a residency on Dharawal land (in Campbelltown, Sydney), this work honours two significant bodies of water: Minerva Pools, a traditional Dharawal site for women and children, and Lake Siecha in Colombia, a sacred site for the Muisca people that has been repeatedly drained in search for gold. In this imagined landscape, where both bodies of water leak into each other, to conflate time, myth and ecologies, I am gesturing to a shared persistence between these sites in the face of ongoing colonisation and uncertain futures.
My thanks to Aunty Glenda Chalker.
Claudia Nicholson, 2019