The Pilbara is a place of extreme contrasts. Here, the idea of land as a source of spiritual and cultural identity and the idea of land as commodity co-exist.—Craig Walsh
The Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane has joined forces with Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) to present Embedded, a major new installation by Walsh. The show's genesis lies in a commission from the mining company Rio Tinto and MCA that allowed Walsh to undertake a four-week residency with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation in the Murujuga National Park and the whole Burrup Peninsula (Murujuga), near Karratha, Western Australia. The brief was to raise awareness and celebrate the exceptional cultural heritage of the National Heritage Place and the rock art it protects.
Walsh worked with the Circle of Elders (the traditional custodians) and the Rangers of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation as well as Rio Tinto staff. In a makeshift studio in Dampier, he interviewed Elders on video. He then projected the videos onto the rugged landscape, in locations that were particularly important to the individual subjects. From documentation of these projections, Walsh produced photographic portraits and video works. Walsh also produced Standing Stone Site (2012), a video-wall work depicting shifting light on a sacred site that features ninety-six standing stones, the largest concentration of standing stones in Australia. Co-curator Judith Blackall comments: 'The physical profile of the horizon remains fixed and monumental, unmoved as it has been for thousands of years, while the spectacular transformation of colour from deep purple to orange red is rendered visible through a technique of high-resolution interval photography.'
Text from the Institute of Modern Art.
Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane / 29 March – 17 May, 2014
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney / 12 September – 24 November 2013
Co-Produced by Das Platforms & IMA
Interview: Nick Garner
Stills: Alex Davies (MCA)