Toongkateeyt (Tomorrow) sees the mashing of Countries through inter-generational experiences to create imagined landscapes.
First Nation peoples experienced both dispossession and disconnection to land during the colonisation of Australia. Land was taken, sold off, cleared and settled, and the introduction of buildings and roads saw sacred sites and familiar grounds disappear. The on-going development of colonisation has undeniably seen First Nation peoples adapt to changes of Country.
Toongkateeyt (Tomorrow) takes an introspective exploration of contemporary Indigenous connection to land and identity prior to, during, and post colonisation. Subsequently, through the process of Country combination, identity as an urban Aboriginal in a post-settled south-east Australia is signified.
Each work is built from hundreds of individual layers and photographs. Each rock, tree, animal etc. was photographed individually and cut out to create a new landscape depicting the ‘mashing’ of ‘Countries’ through multiple generations of experiences existing as an Aboriginal person.
Gunditjmara artist Hayley Millar-Baker is influenced by her Koorie bloodlines, she examines concepts of identity and relationships throughout cultural progressions and blood memory. Acknowledging the importance of story-telling within Aboriginal culture, she merges fact and fiction through the construction of digital-based photo-assemblages, blending new and archival imagery to reveal and re-count inherited stories through a contemporary perspective.
Toongkateeyt (Tomorrow) was exhibited at at Bargoonga Nganjin 22 November 2018 – 3 February 2019
Image Credit: Toongkateeyt (Tomorrow) installation view. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne. Photo by Bernie Phelan.