Untitled (wall composition), 2022
pigment and gum arabic on cardboard
Courtesy the artist & Milani Gallery, Brisbane
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous support from the Australia Council for the Arts
D Harding is a descendant of the Bidjara, Ghungalu and Garingbal peoples, in their practice they draw upon and maintain the spiritual and philosophical sensibilities of their cultural inheritances. Harding uses stenciling to perform the same techniques as their ancestors, revealing complex and layered cultural heritage and aesthetic histories. Often paying homage to family members their work seeks new forms for sharing material and knowledges.
For the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, Harding continues to explore the visual and social languages of their community as a cultural continuum. Harding has created a dialogue between families, maps and pastoral lease holders to plot the course of tributaries and the Mimosa Creek. Through repetitive gesture and durational movement using water and gum arabic Harding has carved a wall painting, the offering of ochre pigments to this place remains unperformed, the pigment hangs from a data point on the map in a repurposed vessel. The wall work was formed in response to data gathered on Ghungalu Country in Central Queensland by community members from the Woorabinda area and beyond. The legacy of existing programs on the ground in Woorabinda and knowledges shared by senior community members Uncle Steven Kemp, Aunty Michelle Leisha and Uncle Milton Lawton are central to this work. In parallel, while this transfer of knowledges is carved on Gadigal country, community members in Woorabinda will continue to return to walk these tributaries and creeks to map out direct access for local cultural knowledge to be recognised as environmental science and respond to the current state of the waterways on Ghungalu Country.
Our pre and post exhibition learning resources Liquid Languages enable students to connect with the key themes of rīvus ahead of and following their exhibition visit. Liquid Languages encourages students to channel new knowledge from their experience of rīvus into local environments.