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Maree Clarke
Born of the Land

Rising up from the red dirt, where the land itself is representative of my connections to Country, this work evokes the spirit of my Ancestors and draws on the traditional mourning practices of the past to tell new stories about the history of Aboriginal resilience in southeast Australia.

In positioning myself as the central figure in this work, I invite the audience to witness alternative representations of Aboriginality, where digital technology assists in my creating an ethereal and sensory landscape. The viewer can see, hear and feel my story, which challenges notions that Aboriginal people from southeast Australia are obsolete and no longer here. The work is one of juxtapositions, as I move from the past to the present, standing strong on the Country of my Ancestors to reveal contemporary representations of who I am and where I come from. Branches from along the Murray River frame my story, offering a natural element from my Ancestral lands, in contrast with the artificial video installation. All these elements together provide another lens through which to view the many different ways of being Aboriginal.

As Aboriginal people we are connected to place, yet we may live away from place; we are connected to stories and people from the past, yet they continue to resonate in our lives today. All these things and more inform my work, as I create and reclaim my cultural heritage as a contemporary Aboriginal artist.

© Maree Clarke