Australian Graffiti 
We Bury Our Own 
The series of work that was titled We Bury Our Own was shown at the Pitt Rivers Museum UK and was a response to the Australian Photographic Collection.
Christopher Morton, the curator of manuscripts at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and Jane Lydon, from Monash at the time; were overseeing a project looking at repatriation of Australian photos in European collections and asked me to create a body of work addressing some of the similar themes.
I was drawn to elements of opulence, ritual, homage, fragility, melancholy, strength and even a sense of play operating in the photographs.
The simplicity of a monochrome and sepia palette, the frayed delicate edges and the cracks on the surface like a dry desert floor reminded me of the salt plains of my own traditional lands.
I wanted to generate an aura around this series, a meditative space that was focused on freeing oneself of hurt, employing crystals and other votive objects that emit frequencies that can heal, ward off negative energies, psychic attack, geopathic stress and electro-magnetic fields, and, importantly, transmit ideas.
I asked the photographs in the Pitt Rivers Museum to be catalysts and waited patiently to see what ideas and images would surface in the work, I think with surprising results.
Perhaps this is what art is able to do – perform a ‘spiritual repatriation’ rather than a physical one, fragment the historical narrative and traverse time and place to establish a new realm in the cosmos, set something free, allow it to embody the past and be intrinsically connected to the present.
We Bury Our Own artworks courtesy of the artist, Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne, and Michael Reid, Sydney and Berlin.
One day I asked my Dad, do we still have songs in Bidjara? He said, “No” and I thought, “Well, I’ll just make new ones.”
Bidjara is officially an endangered language but my work is motivated by the simple yet profound idea that if even one word of an endangered language is spoken it continues to be a living language.
Berceuse was an opportunity to do something more complex musically, more textured sonically – I also wanted it to be more intricate with my use of language.
Language is such a defining thing. I feel so comfortable singing in Bidjara, the lyricism, the vibrations, the texture of language. I get to learn my own language and simultaneously make a bold statement about our continuing culture and identity.
I think my first live performance was in Pittsburgh in the US. I was in a show at the Andy Warhol Museum and was in another show at the same time and performed a chant in Bidjara. It was around that time I also started using native flower arrangements, maybe around 2006.
Das Arts [Master of Theatre] was an intense program but it taught me as a trained visual artist how to draw things out into duration and narrative. This was really tough; it’s like reprogramming someone’s artistic DNA, but in the end it was probably one of the most rewarding and life-changing programs.
I’m so grateful for what it taught me, how it expanded my world as an artist.
2017 three channel video installation duration: 5 min 35 sec. Video courtesy Michael Reid.