Bangerang artist Peta Clancy collaborated with the Dja Dja Wurrung community during a 12-month residency at the Koorie Heritage Trust to produce this major photographic series, titled ‘Undercurrent’ (2018-19).
Clancy’s ‘Undercurrent’ series sets its lens on re-directed water in Dja Dja Wurrung country that submerge the site of an Indigenous massacre and is informed by the Koorie Heritage Trust Massacre Map of Victoria. These soft, blushing landscapes are partially out of focus and slightly askew, masking the dark past of colonial frontier wars.
To create the works, Clancy prints large-scale images of the landscape and attaches them to a custom-built frame on the same site where the image was first taken. She slices and re-photographs 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 unearthing of the cultural scars within the landscape through alluring imagery recall Melissa Lucashenko’s thoughts on the experience of Indigenous people looking at the land: “It is like having double vision. We see the world that white people see, but we are also seeing a mythic landscape at the same time and a historic landscape.”
’Undercurrent’ (2018-19) exhibition history:
’The National’, Art Gallery of NSW, 2019
’Capital’, Ballarat International Foto Biennale, 2019
’The Burning World’, Bendigo Art Gallery, 2020
’Secret Garden’, Dominik Mersch Gallery, 2020
‘From all Points of the Southern Sky: Photography from Australia and
‘Oceania’, Southeast Museum of Photography, Florida, 2020