The WA Museum Boola Bardip presents an immersive, culturally rich multimedia exhibition – using a mixture of associated portraits, languages, and landscapes to showcase the rich and diverse Western Australian culture. Running from December 11, 2021 to January 30, 2022, Belong brings together the work of photo artist Martine Perret with a particular focus on her projects that feature speakers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Western Australia.
Martine is an award-winning photographic artist, who was born in Paris, and now works and lives in Margaret River, Western Australia. Known for her startlingly beautiful portrayal of the Western Australian landscape, she uses aerial photography and portraiture to tell important stories of our times.
Belong highlights the link between Elders, language speakers and the land, and emphasises the cultural importance of languages. The exhibition is presented to coincide with and celebrate the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).
For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, land is much more than soil, rocks, or minerals – it’s fundamental to identity and way of life. In this exhibition, Martine celebrates stories and new perspectives from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across the State. Through stunning photography, video, audio, dance, and painting she showcases the language, connection to land and role body parts play in relating emotions.
Belong provokes visitors to explore and understand the language connecting feeling, culture, and country through 5 exhibits:
Nijiniji (Connection in Yawuru) – Awaken your senses with Yawuru speaker, choreographer, and Co-Artistic Director of contemporary dance group Marrugeku, Dalisa Pigram. Watch as she performs her interpretation of what it means for our physical bodies to be ‘joined’ to our emotions: “like bark to a tree”. Martine Perret collaborated with Dalisa and composer Jonathan Mustard to create this unique three-part video.
Mitchee Youp Bullargar (Coming Together) – Explore a collection of traditional and ceremonial objects from Vivian Brockman Webb’s family collection. Vivian (aka Dwardinan) is a Matriarch Elder from the Margaret River region in Western Australia.Step through a series of video installations, as Vivian shares her deep knowledge of Country, traditional land management and the importance of what we leave behind which is inspired by her late father’s book Nunyahboogera – My land.
Juruyinku Kujuyinkuya (Connection in Tjupan) – Step into a sensory space as Elder, Edie Ulrich combines traditional painting and sound to create an extraordinary cylindrical light installation. See a painting based on expressions of the language of emotion in Tjupan language, to form the basis of this incredible light installation drilled in the pattern of the painting around you.
Ngala Wongga (Come Talk) – Hear stories and songs from some of the last remaining speakers of over nine different languages from the Goldfields of Western Australia. Learn of their connection to land and culture in this sensorial installation – see floating layers of tulle fabric projecting exquisite video and rare audio of Aboriginal Elders sharing stories and songs.
The Margillee Cube – Immerse yourself in Doreen Harris’ (aka Margillee) story, exploring interconnectedness with the land, culture, and language – retelling part of the Seven Sisters dreamtime story, previously displayed at WA Museum. Listen to her reconnection to culture in this sensorial light box installation, showcasing exquisite aerial photography of the Goldfields’ salt lakes and symbolic storytelling using video, sound, and photography.
Belong will be on show at the WA Museum Boola Bardip from December 11, 2021 to January 30, 2022. Entry is free. Click here for more information.
Header Image: Goldfields salt lakes by Martine Perret