Image credit: Tahlia Palmer, Murnong (Digging for Yam Daisy), 2023 - film still, Single channel digital video, sound. 6 mins 14 secs, Courtesy of the artist and Gertrude Street Projection Festival
Centre for Projection Art is proud to partner with Peel Street Park Projection Program to present Tahlia Palmer’s work Murnong as part of Confluence - GSPF 2023. This year's GSPF brings a Confluence of weaves together community + art, public + space, night + light, sight + site, with artists and community projects, events, talks, screenings and more. Murnong is the premier projection artwork from First Nations Artist and Musician Tahlia Palmer (aka amby downs) and is the result of their six-month residency with the Centre for Projection Art. The work zooms in on the Murnong plant and its agri/cultural significance and the resonances and roots from which it springs from. We’re excited to expand off site from Gertrude Street while continuing to be in dialogue with its rich and complex histories.
Murnong is an ongoing audio-visual project, started in 2021 when I received a gift of yam daisy seeds. A plant of significance to my family and many others from the eastern side of this continent, it was a staple food crop for Aboriginal people before European invasion. This plant represents sacredness, survival after colonial violence, and an ongoing connection to the women in my family and the lives and diets of our ancestors.
The iteration of this project created for GSPF has with it a soundtrack 32 minutes and 32 seconds in length that speaks to the presence of the past in our now and our future, the connection of all life and the effects of colonisation, as with the video.
This work seeks to remind audiences that we cannot erase uncomfortable histories, and that we cannot build good futures without stable foundations of knowledge about the human relationship to the non-human world; never creating that distinction between human and nature – instead: continuing to recognise ourselves as part of everything and everything being part of us - is how the ancestors lived in balance for many, many thousands of years. Adapting to change, this condition continues.
Tahlia Palmer is an artist of Murri and European background born on Whudjuk Noongar Boodjar (Perth, WA), working in a variety of mediums to explore history, identity and perception. Descended from a paternal line who survived dispossession, forced assimilation and the Stolen Generations (NSW+QLD), and maternal Dutch grandparents who survived WW2, her art practice works on confronting the conditions that create and perpetuate intergenerational trauma, as well as finding pathways for healing. She releases ambient/drone/noise soundscapes under the pseudonym “amby downs”, named after the QLD station on which her Murri ancestors worked in servitude.
For more information or to listen to the soundtrack, visit: https://www.gspf.com.au/artists-2023/tahlia-palmer or scan the QR code.