The Governor and Mrs Dawson viewing an installation called 'Moving beyond the line' by Robert Andrew
The Governor and Mrs Dawson viewing an installation called ‘Moving beyond the line’ by Robert Andrew

Celebrating the work of Artist Robert Andrew at PICA

This morning the Governor and Mrs Dawson took some time to view the Robert Andrew exhibition currently on display at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). 

The first of 2 installations is titled ‘Moving beyond the line,’ it stands in the middle of the room with water dripping from the high ceiling onto a low platform below. On that platform rests a book showing the open pages of ‘Australia’s Coloured Minority: Its Place in the Community” which was published in 1947 by AO Neville, WA’s Chief Protector of Aborigines and the advocate of Child Removal Policies (the Stolen Generation).

Red ochre has been placed between the pages of the book so as the water drips down the book is eroded by the dripping water, and the ochre runs down the platform creating a new depiction of Country over time.

The second installation is titled ‘Held within a word’ and  is a celebration of language and culture, using charred rocks and branches collected in the Toodyay area with Whadjuk traditional owner Elisha Jacobs-Smith. The wood and rocks are suspended by wire, and make impressions on the walls of the gallery, guided by an automated machine programmed with sentences that have been passed onto Robert Andrew by Elisha Jacobs-Smith. Effectively, writing Country onto the gallery walls and reminding us that we all stand on Whadjuk land.

Nidja moondang boodja-k naariny koondaaminy kalya winin maladjiny koorliny dandjoo wer werniny bandang keny boora dordong kaaradjiny wer yanginy nidja boodja.

Everything on this land since start of creation was always born, growing, moving and dying in harmony all together in a cycle of caring and sharing for this land.

Ngalak djarnyak mindar nidja dordong aliny warn minditj ngolanga wadjella koorl ngalak djarnyak dandjoo koorl wer dandjoo korl-koorliny.

We must heal this cycle as it’s been damaged after the non-Indigenous people came, we must come together and return to moving together.

Artist Robert Andrew is a descendant of the Yawuru people whose Country is of the Broome region of the Kimberley. He combines kinetic installations with programmable technologies and natural materials such as wood, stone, ochres and soil. Read more about the artist and exhibition here:

The Governor viewing an installation titled ‘Held within a word’ by artist Robert Andrew
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