Bound and Unbound: Sovereign Acts – Act II, in October 2015, builds on the success of Act I, extending these ideas and their expression through embodied projection and performance. Both Acts engage Aboriginal community members who have historically been contained and excluded within and beyond the mortar and boundaries of Adelaide’s so-called ‘cultural precinct’. When our ancestors’ voices are heard and listened to, this compels a call and response engagement with the broader Aboriginal community. We can all speak back through individual and collective Sovereign Acts.
The Unbound collective is Ali Gumillya Baker (curator), Simone Ulalka Tur, Faye Rosas Blanch and Natalie Harkin.
ALI GUMILLYA BAKER shifts the colonial gaze through film, performance, projection, and grandmother-stories. SIMONE ULALKA TUR’s performance and poetics enact an intergenerational transmission of story-work through education. FAYE ROSAS BLANCH engages rap theory to embody sovereignty and shedding of the colonial skin. NATALIE HARKIN’s archival-poetics is informed by blood-memory, haunting and grandmother-stories.
Artists: Ali Gumillya Baker (and curator), Simone Ulalka Tur, Faye Rosas Blanch, Natalie Harkin
ACT I - 2014
In 2014 the participating Aboriginal artists exhibited Act 1 at Fontanelle Gallery, 24 August - 24 September 2014.
This intially experimental work aims to explore complex ideas of being both bound and free; what we are bound to historically and, as sovereign people, what we choose to (un)bind ourselves to and from, both now and into the future.
ACT II - 2015
Bound and Unbound: Act 2 builds on the success of experimental Act 1 exhibition, extending the ideas and their expression. The performative aspects of Act 1 contributed to engaging Aboriginal community members who have historically been excluded from non-Indigenous run cultural spaces. When Aboriginal people’s voices are heard and listened to, this compels an engagement with the broader Aboriginal community.
The core themes that weave and bind their performative work include:
- interrogations of State colonial archives
- notions of ethical practice and responsibility
- enacting memory and storytelling
- sovereign identity and (re)representation.
Performing as part of the TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, Act 2 speaks back to colonial institutions of power as dominant repositories of culture/knowledge.
Future events and collaborations
Bound and Unbound: Sovereign Acts - decolonising methodologies of the lived and spoken will continue to develop beyond 2015 with each stage or ‘Act’ reflecting on its critical-performative work to inform and develop into the next Act.
This project led by four Indigenous women forms part of a process of giving back and cultural continuance. We aim to contribute to both knowledge production and new critical-creative decolonising methodologies from our unique standpoints as artists.
We thank our collaborators and partners including:
- Office of Indigenous Strategy and Engagement, Flinders University
- Flinders University Art Museum
- Fontanelle Gallery & Studios, Brigid Noone, Director, curator and artist
- 2014 SALA Festival
- 2015 TARNANTHI Festival
- National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network
- Nunga Wangga Radio Program, Radio Adelaide
- Dr Julie Gough, artist, curator, writer and multimedia arts practitioner
- Nancy Bates, musician and artistic mentor
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, and Arts SA.