The 2010 Stony Rises Project was a collective exhibition made up of work from invited artists in response to the Stony Rises landscape of the western districts of Victoria. Couzens response was to tell the story of dispossession, the ways in which her Ancestors fought and died defending their Country, how Ancestral homelands were forcibly taken and never surrendered.
Digital images of Country were overlaid with images of crosses commemorating battles and massacres on her Country. These crosses reference the ‘George Whatmore’ cross found on the roadside past Port Fairy, inscribed with ‘George Whatmore: Killed by Blacks’. Couzens appropriates this imagery, inscribing instead the details of those killed by whites in these battles.
Couzens further explores the mortuary practices and funeral and mourning rituals of her people within this work, creating a ‘burial’ possum skin cloak with a graphic symbolic design of skeleton and markings.
Within the Stony Rises Project, Couzens memorialised five battle or massacre sites.
Stony Rise works:
2. Moperer Gundidj
3. Kilcarer Gundidj
4. Gunaward Gundidj
5. Eumeralla War
6. Honour Roll
(This list of the names of survivors of the frontier is produced from historical sources.)
7. George Whatmore
(This is a cross that is still present by the roadside past Port Fairy in Gunditjimara Country.)