‘Undercurrent’ is part of a highly-respected series of photographs that were developed by Peta Clancy during a 12-month residency at the Koorie Heritage Trust from 2018-2019. Clancy collaborated with the Dja Dja Wurrung community to research, develop and create large format landscape photographs responding to a massacre site on Dja Dja Wurrung Country. To create the works, Clancy printed large-scale images of the landscape and attached them to a custom-built frame on the same site where the image was first taken. She then sliced and re-photographed the image to challenge our focus on denied histories. Trees peer over the fault line of the divided image, combining two contemporary moments to instil in viewers a yearning to see what is behind and, in turn, remind us to look for the what is hidden below. Clancy’s ‘Undercurrent’ works reveal the emotional and cultural scars left in the landscape by the frontier violence, which has been historically and physically covered by colonial occupation.
Senior Curator at the AGNSW Isobel Parker Philip describes Clancy’s ‘Undercurrent’ series as “…landscape photographs that very subtly push against our expectations of what a landscape photograph should look like or how it should behave.”
Descendant of the Bangerang people from south-eastern Australia, Peta Clancy is a visual artist and Fine Arts Lecturer at Monash University, where she completed a practice-based PhD in 2009. Her work has been selected for notable awards and commissioned by a number of Australian institutions, including the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, the Monash Gallery of Art’s ‘Portrait of Monash’ exhibition, The National (2019) at the Art Gallery of NSW, Ballarat Foto Biennale, and Photo 2021 at Bendigo Art Gallery.