A five year project developed along the Ellensbrook – Mokidup in WA, with input and collaboration with Wardandi Matriarch Vivian Brockman and daughter Mitchella Hutchins.
Centered around three site specific artworks created by Scottish migrant Elaine Clocherty the exhibition looks at the artist’s journey into “knowing one’s own ancestors and culture to know another’s” (Brockman-Webb) looking at key sorry stories in her own family history. Also, the importance of Water for Life and the history of the Wardandi, where Ellensbrook – Mokidup meanders to the ocean.
The first artwork, Acknowledgement, created at what was the newly established residency/art space The Farm Margaret River in 2017. Clocherty investigated her own family’s agricultural history and for the first time felt the sorry story remnants left in the soil and water. The second, Honouring created mid way along the brook at south eastern section of Fair Harvest Permaculture Farm. Was funded through an International Residency Prize awarded by AININ – Artists In Nature International Network. This work focused on Water for Life and relating to country. Finally, Winyarn Beela – Sorry Water created on the grounds of the first colonial homestead in the Margert River area and which later became a small mission for children of the Stolen Generation. This work was a collaboration with Vivian and Mitchella and as a community artwork created with lots of help from the Margaret River Community. Its focus was to acknowledge and heal from the sorry stories so we can “Walk together in Unity to take care of Wardandi Country together. (Brockman-Webb)
The artists hope other community members will see the benefits of working through their own/inter-generational trauma from the loss of connection with their ancestral birthplaces and culture, recognise the need to Acknowledge colonisation for First Nations people; so we can collectively heal and deepen our connections with this Land and its original caretakers to build stronger communities and care for Country with the urgency required land the sculpture is made, at a minimum, to get permission and if the stars align, input and collaboration.
“This exhibition Walking with the Ancestors begins a new chapter for me, engaging in multifaceted story telling and presentation of large-scale artworks and documentation for the gallery context.” – Elaine Clocherty
Brunch @ BRAG Sunday, 18 September, 11am – 2pm