Maree Clarke

Born of the Land by Maree Clarke

 A person in a field of trees with blue and red projections over the trees. Behind the figure is a projected image of another figure standing proud. Image: Maree Clarke Born of the Land 2014 single channel digital video, silent, 1 min 48 secs. Video Production: SW Productions. Courtesy Maree Clarke and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne

Born of the Land (2014) by Maree Clarke was exhibited in Peel Street Park between Monday 01 March 2021 to 28 July 2021.

Rising up from the red dirt, where the land itself is representative of my connections to Country, this work evokes the spirit of my Ancestors and draws on the traditional mourning practices of the past to tell new stories about the history of Aboriginal resilience in southeast Australia.

In positioning myself as the central figure in this work, I invite the audience to witness alternative representations of Aboriginality, where digital technology assists in my creating an ethereal and sensory landscape. The work challenges notions that Aboriginal people from southeast Australia are obsolete and no longer here. The work is one of juxtapositions, as I move from the past to the present, standing strong on the Country of my Ancestors to reveal contemporary representations of who I am and where I come from. This moving image work provides another lens through which to view the many different ways of being Aboriginal.

As Aboriginal people we are connected to place, yet we may live away from place; we are connected to stories and people from the past, yet they continue to resonate in our lives today. All these things and more inform my work, as I create and reclaim my cultural heritage as a contemporary Aboriginal artist.