Performances throughout the day included a reversal of the bird and its watcher in the bird hide; a reclaiming of the Colonial Homestead by Indigenous women dancers and a ghostly raft floating on the river, invisibly supporting a white hooded figure, with echoes of historic diary readings reverberating across the gorge.
CALL, RECALL, RESPOND: Barbara Campbell with Jim Walliss
During the introductory phase of Siteworks I began to detect a pattern of responsive behaviour amongst participants in relation to the activity of the bird life of Bundanon. I came to see this as ‘bird-directed performance.’ I spent the production period of my residency making a portable, one-person bird hide from local plant fibres under Jim Wallis’ technical guidance. I began the performance by asking the audience to make slight adjustments to their appearance (taking off or covering over colourful or reflective clothing using local Dodda vine). Then I stepped inside the bird hide and moved off into the grounds in front of the Homestead, stopping occassionally under a tree. Jim stayed near the audience, identifying and calling out the names of the birds around the Homestead whenever he heard a call. Some of the birdcalls were live while others had been pre-recorded by artist, Garth Paine, and formed part of a soundscape playing inside the Homestead. Few birds were actually seen during call, recall, respond, but their affect was everywhere among the humans.
Barbara Campbell creates performances and other time-based works such as film, video and radio productions. In developing her current work Campbell responds to the specific physical and contextual properties of a given site, be it art gallery, atrium, tower, radio airwaves, Twitter or the Internet. Her work at Siteworks has expanded into PhD research on how migratory shorebirds direct human performance. Artefacts and objects created in and around Campbell’s performances are in the collections of galleries and museums nationally and internationally.
Jim Wallis is a local contemporary weaver and recognised expert on Indigenous Australian weaving, using materials from the native bushlands and gardens. He has a long history with Bundanon, having developed the amphitheatre and cedar walks on site and having produced a CD-Rom about its cultural and environmental landscapes.
PRESENT IN THE LANDSCAPE: Garth Paine
The river runs across floodplains, and has had a dynamic and active life, changing direction, remapping its own presence, as large weather events have occurred. A decade ago the large Tallowa Dam was constructed upstream from the Bundanon Trust properties to provide drinking water to the south coast of New South Wales. This construction substantially changed the life of the river, the migration of the perch fish, the reeds and grasses growing along the river, and the salt content of the water. In order to explore some of these issues,an exploration was undertaken of the Shoalhaven River (S34 53.686 E150 30.157) through sound. Recordings of people talking about their use of the river are presented alongside many early morning ambi-sonic recordings of the dawn chorus, the afternoon and into evening changes of birdlife, insects and fish jumping.
Garth Paine holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the School of Arts Media and Engineering and the School of Music at Arizona State University, USA. He is an innovator in the field of interactivity in experimental music and media arts, creating several responsive environments where the inhabitant generates the sonic landscape through their presence and behaviour. His principle interest is in sound as a fluid, viscous medium that whilst very abstract can communicate both content and context.
FLOAT - SLIPPING THROUGH TIME: Tess de Quincey
Live flute: Garth Paine, Vocal sounds: Michael Cohen and Regina Heilmann, from texts prepared by Robyn Backen, Video: Mike Leggett, Photography: Heidrun Lohr, Lighting: Richard Montgomery. Developed with the assistance of Tim Dallimore and Gary Hogan.
“I imagine our first forays as humans onto water occurred on rafts. And stepping onto water also enabled us to walk out of Africa. As humans we carry memory besides imaginings for a future, connecting the physical and the spiritual world with the capacity to change. I hope you will feel danced by a journey that articulates and connects different beings, vertically through time and horizontally through space.” Artist Statement
Tess de Quincey is a choreographer, dancer and director. Trained in dance, graphics and sculpture in London and Copenhagen, her interdisciplinary performance work is based in the ‘BODY WEATHER’ philosophy and methodology. De Quincey has created an extensive body of artworks in different terrains, from the city to the desert, with a focus on durational, site-specific and intercultural environments.
LICHTZEICHEN/LIGHTSIGNS: Heidrun Löhr
"The river has reflected light ever since it came into being. Day and night the sky mirrors in its waters. As do the trees and rocks of its shores. The river has a long memory." Artist Statement
Heidrun Lohr is a photographer who collaborates with independent artists to create site-based performance work, animations and installations. She collaborated on Julie-Anne Long’s site-specific performance Nun’s Picnic in Hill End 2003/04, Aku Kadogo’s Ochre and Dust - a project that took her to Central Australia to work with two Pitjantjatjara women, Nura Ward and Nelli Patterson, and Joey Ruigrok van der Werven’s Volta produced by Performance Space in Carriageworks. More recently she has been collaborating on animations with dance artists Nikki Heywood and Martin del Amo.
WALKING BUNDANON: Nick Keys
For Siteworks in 2010 Nick Keys presented a performative talk at the rivers edge (with the assistance of his father and a soccer ball), about romantic science. For the Field Guide to Bundanon (publiched by Bundanon Trust in 2014) Keys wrote Walking Bundanon.
Nick Keys is an installation artist and writer. His experiential documentation includes Push & Pull: a Furniture Comedy for Hans Hoffman by Allan Kaprow in 2009 and Edit Metropolis, a cardboard arcade installation made for the Walter Benjamin and Architecture of Modernity conference at University of Technology, Sydney in 2006.
ANCIENT ECHOES: Peta Strachan, Rayma Johnson and dancers
"Colonial presence evoked thirst for knowledge smoked, ECHOES forefront reveal old teachings amid her rhythms rebound. That can be unpredictable and experimenting with the relationship between the lens and the movement of water. The land speaks to us of past, present and future...hear her echoes. Stop…listen…let the healing begin." Artists statement
Rayma Johnson is a descendant of the Wiradjuri nation. She began her dance training with Redfern Dance Theatre in 1987 and continued with Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (later becoming Naisda). She is currently a freelance performer and choreographer based in Sydney. A few of Johnson’s dance credits include Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Fish, Albert David's Bipotim and GIZ, and Jason Pitt’s Scars.
Peta Strachan is a descendant of the Dharug people from the Kurrajong area of NSW. She studied at Naisda and in 1994 joined Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre touring Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Latin America. Strachan joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2000, appearing in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympic Games, Skin, Corroboree and Walkabout. Since then she has worked as a freelance dancer teaching and choreographing for young people in communities such as Yirrikala and Katherine.
MAANG: r e a
“The presence of Indigenous knowledge is all around me. The absence of Indigenous languages in the landscape is all around me. This site-specific work of a word from my language group (Gamilaraay) translates as message stick(maang - ceremony). It represents the presence of me in a landscape that is not my country. I offer this work/word in acknowledgement of this absence as a healing ceremony.” Artist Statement
The towering letters made from bales of hay were amplified by their fiery shadow – burning piles of the invasive weed Lantana – and set against a soundscape traversing recent black and white relations, from Whitlam and Keating to (NSW Aboriginal politician) Linda Burney.
r e a is an artist of Gamilaroi and Wailwan peoples whose work emerges from a number of traditional art forms and flows into a new-media art practice. She investigates and explores identity politics; history and memory; and the construction of Indigenous identity, through archival photography, video, sound, museum collections, historical writing and any documentation that objectifies Indigenous Australian identity as the ‘other’. r e a has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1992.