Swinging branches & rocks build up a visible residue

For Tracing inscriptions 2020/22, a reason-designed plotter printer is programmed by Robert Andrew to trace an undisclosed Yawuru textual content in Latin script, activating strings stretching about viewers’ heads that join
to the branches and rocks opposite. With no ink, the traced letters and text are left invisible and undisclosed to the viewer. The artist seeks to upend the perceived hierarchy concerning written and oral languages – in this circumstance, English and Australian Indigenous languages.

Above the study course of the exhibition, swinging burnt branches and ochre-covered rocks — suspended by strings managed by the plotter — slowly but surely build up visible residue on the wall. The charcoal and ochre proficiently publish Region on to the partitions, reminding viewers that they stand on Indigenous land. This undermines the trope that a gallery’s white walls make a area the place artworks can be seen without having external reference factors.

The 100 strings divide the central wall into 1-metre squares resembling an environmental study plan. The branches and rocks probe and subvert the grid’s limitations by rubbing, leaping and crumbling around the demarcations – a reminder that mother nature cannot usually be contained by human aspirations.

Robert Andrew ‘Tracing inscriptions’

Putting in Tracing inscriptions 2020/22 / Photograph: L Wilkes © QAGOMA

Robert Andrew, Yawuru men and women, Australia b.1965 / Tracing inscriptions 2020/22 / Aluminium, electromechanical parts, rocks, wooden, ochre / Courtesy: Robert Andrew and Milani Gallery, Brisbane / Images: N Harth © QAGOMA

‘Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Modern Art’ is in Queensland Artwork Gallery’s Gallery 4, Gallery 5 (Henry and Amanda Bartlett Gallery) and the Watermall from 13 August 2022 to 22 January 2023.

Acknowledgment of Nation
The Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Contemporary Art acknowledges the Common Owners of the land on which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We pay regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present and, in the spirit of reconciliation, accept the immense artistic contribution Very first Australians make to the art and lifestyle of this country.

It is customary in numerous Indigenous communities not to mention the identify or reproduce photographs of the deceased. All such mentions and photographs on the QAGOMA Weblog are with authorization, nonetheless, treatment and discretion must be exercised.

Reconciliation Action Prepare
QAGOMA has launched its inaugural Reconciliation Motion Program (RAP) to guideline its contributions to reconciliation. View the 2022–24 RAP.


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