Darebin Art Collection

New Arrivals

Public Description: 

In New Arrivals, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) depicts two tall ships in high seas approaching the coastline of Australia and considers the historical and contemporary politics surrounding ‘new arrival’s by boat to the nation’s shores. The work encapsulates the themes of maritime exploration, colonisation and migration and their effect upon Indigenous culture.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.

New Arrivals © Gwen Garoni

Like Sands Through the Hourglass, So Are Days of Our Lives

Public Description: 

In this new site-specific video work by artist Matthew Harris, you encounter surveillance footage of a cartoonish apparition interacting with the Bundoora Homestead mansion and its surrounds. The artist embodies a jumbled amorphous persona, making use of the site’s extensive Indigenous, equine and psychiatric history.

Image © Matthew Harris.

N0000, N2359, N2351, N2402

Public Description: 

Featuring a series of blown-glass domes, Scarce reflects on the containment and classification of Indigenous peoples since colonisation. Enclosed in glass domes with a cracked and fractured finish, photographs of family members are displayed in a natural history museum-style fashion. Prior to the 1967 Referendum, Aboriginal people were classified under the Commonwealth Government’s Flora and Fauna Act, and not thought of as human beings. Scarce’s work references this policy, with images of her ancestors displayed like specimens under a bell-jar. These photographs were retrieved from the South Australian Government Archives and are presented with their reference numbers fully intact — Australian Aboriginal people were photographed and tagged with identity numbers, just like common criminals and prison inmates.

The first bell jar contains blown glass Indigenous fruit. This outlines the comparison between flora and Indigenous peoples and how they once held a shared place in the white Australian conscience. The cracked finish of the various bell jars makes it difficult to see clearly. This references the recording of Aboriginal history since colonial settlement, the truth of which is fractured and not all disclosed.

Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Scarce holds a Master of Fine Arts from Monash University. She is one of the first contemporary Australian artists to explore the political and aesthetic power of glass, describing her work as ‘politically motivated and emotionally driven’. In 2015 Scarce exhibited internationally in Hong Kong, Vancouver, Berlin, Japan and Italy and was involved in several major projects around Australia including the Palimpsest Biennale, Mildura and a site-specific installation at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Images © Yhonnie Scarce

Regrowth in the Yarra Valley

Public Description: 

Regrowth in the Yarra Valley is infused with optimism as the countryside begins the long process of revegetation after being decimated by the Black Saturday bushfires in February, 2009. Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) captures the majesty of nature’s rebirth as the flora and fauna of her Taurguron country begin to flourish again.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of Country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.
Regrowth in the Yarra Valley © Gwen Garoni

Cognitive Dissonance #2

Public Description: 

Steaphan Paton found this traditional tapestry (maker unknown) and actively intervened in its aesthetic and meaning through stitching by his own hand. His interventions are striking; they seek to bring to life the realities of the impact of colonialism on the first nation's peoples and the fact that there were battles between the original custodians of the land and white settlers. This work was acquired following its inclusion in the exhibition Re-visioning Histories, curated by Yhonnie Scarce and Claire Watson. The exhibition included artists from across Australia and was held at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre from 18 June to 21 August 2016.

Steaphan Paton is a member of the Gunai and Monero Nations. He grew up in rural Victoria. His work explores colonialism, tradition, concepts of race and conflict. Influenced by his home country, ‘Gippsland’ and his experiences, Paton uses painting, sculpture, installation and video to articulate his worldview. His work is held in many public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia and the Melbourne Museum.

Image © Steaphan Paton.

The Blaktism

Public Description: 

The Blaktism is a satirical new media work about the artist's recent experience obtaining her 'Certificate of Aboriginality' and the overwhelming sense of doubt experienced at the thought of being legitimately certified at 30 years of age. The video presents a baptism-like sacred ceremony whereby a young Quandamooka woman receives the rite to her authentic Aboriginality permitted by everyday Australians. This work translates issue of citizenship, power, prejudice and interrogates issues on cultural authority in 21st century Australian political and cultural landscape.

Image © Megan Cope.

Clouds Are The Dust Of His Feet #1

Public Description: 

Bindi Cole Chocka is a Wathaurong woman who lives and works in Melbourne. Clouds Are The Dust Of His Feet #1, was exhibited at Bundoora Homestead's group show Horizons in 2014. It is part of a suite of photographic works that explores the artist's identity, history and faith as she forgives herself and others for past wrongs. The photograph's title is taken from a passage from the Bible (Nahum 1:3): The LORD is slow to anger but great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

Cole Chocka says "I used to be a victim of my own life, like everything was everyone else’s fault, building my identity on all the wrongs that had been committed against me. Meanwhile, I had turned into a pretty horrible person, my heart had become hardened and I was living a life of destruction and pain. It was then that I had a revelation. I was living as the victim. In that very moment, I came to a place where I no longer desired justice for what had happened to me, but had realised I needed forgiveness for what I had done and who I had become. From that place, I was able to begin to forgive others. So I chose to forgive".

Clouds Are The Dust Of His Feet #1 © Bindi Cole Chocka.

Bridge Merri Creek

Public Description: 

In Bridge Merri Creek, Katherine Hattam continues her exploration of local waterways and their locations. This work on plywood depicts the bridge over Merri Creek on High Street, Northcote with accompanying trees and powerlines and the much ignored cyclists dismount sign. It is surrounded by a repertoire of recurring domestic motifs significant to the artist including chairs, clocks and a shopping basket, creating a psychological layering of memory via personally symbolic objects.

Hattam’s art practice comprises drawing, collage, printmaking and sculpture. She employs a contemplative process in revealing the relationships and tensions between objects, space and placement. Hattam has exhibited widely as a solo artist as well as in group shows for over five decades. She has won the Robert Jacks Drawing Prize (2006), Banyule Works on Paper Art Award (2005) and has been short-listed in the Dobell Drawing Prize, National Works on Paper Prize and Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. Her work is represented in public, corporate, educational and private collections such as the National Gallery of Australia, state and regional art galleries, The Darling Foundation, Smorgen Collection, Artbank, Queen Victoria Hospital, National Australia Bank and La Trobe University Museum of Art.

Bridge Merri Creek © Katherine Hattam