Set against the backdrop of Rainforest Country in North Queensland from where my Aboriginal family comes, two men carry ancestral remains past the watchful eyes of colonial settlers. In a show of profound inner strength, the Aboriginal men persist with ceremony and ritual despite the desecration around them. The processional nature of the scene heightens a sense of othering and spectacle, and the unchecked destruction of the landscape mirrors the catastrophic disruption to life experienced by First Nations people following colonisation. Using multiple sources to create the scene, the work explores histories of documentation, while questioning the intrusion of our gaze.
Danie Mellor, 2022