Darebin Art Collection

The Missing Parrot

Public Description: 

‘The Missing Parrot’ by Claire McArdle tells a story about Bundoora Homestead Art Centre. A workman dropped a hammer through the stained glass ceiling destroying the centre of the glass ceiling that featured an image of a parrot. The parrots were not replaced and it was never restored to its original condition. Instead they added a red geometric design to the centre of the glass ceiling that remains today. Claire McArdle made this body of work at Bundoora Homestead Art Centre while artist-in-residence for the ‘Under Construction’ exhibition in 2016. The work consists of three second-hand hammers that have been hand carved into birds that are local to the Bundoora area.

Claire McArdle trained as a jeweler at RMIT University, completing her honours degree in 2011. In 2016 she won the National Contemporary Jewellry Award at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery. In 2014 she completed a residency at the Icelandic Textile Centre and in 2017 exhibited her work in Melbourne, Munich and Estonia. Her work is held in numerous collections including: RMIT University, Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery and Bluestone Collective, Melbourne.

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 site-specific video work by artist Matthew Harris, the viewer will 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 as they engage with the space.

Matthew Harris is an emerging artist who was born in Wangaratta in 1991. In primary school he won a plastic trophy for photographs. Matthew has exhibited at Wangaratta Art Gallery, BLINDSIDE, Strange Neighbour and the Centre for Contemporary Photography. In 2017 he exhibited with Neon Parc at the ‘Spring 1883’ Art Fair and had a solo show ‘Cream dreams’ at Alaska Projects in Sydney. Matthew lives and works in Melbourne. He likes flowers and long romantic walks by the sea at sunset.

N0000, N2359, N2351, N2402

Public Description: 

Featuring a series of blown-glass domes or jars, 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. 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 often photographed and tagged with identity numbers, just like common criminals and prison inmates.

The first bell jar contains 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 bell jars make it difficult to see the photographs clearly. This references the recording of Aboriginal history since colonial settlement, the truth of which is fractured and contested.

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 Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary and Torres Strait Islander Art.

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 by stitching in 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 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.

Steaphan Paton is a member of the Gunaikurnai and Monero Nations. His work explores colonialism, tradition and 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. In 2016 Paton completed a Master of Contemporary Art from the VCA. His work is held in many public and private collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia, the Melbourne Museum and the Brooklyn Art Library in New York.

The Blaktism

Public Description: 

The Blaktism is a satirical video work about the artist's 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 issues of citizenship, power, prejudice and interrogates the issue of cultural authority in 21st century Australian political and cultural landscape.

Megan Cope is known for her paintings, video work, sculptural installations and site-specific commissions. A Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island, Queensland, her work explores the intricate relationship between environment, geography and identity. Cope’s work has been exhibited in Australia and internationally including at Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art; Cairns Regional Art Gallery; Koori Heritage Trust, Melbourne; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand; Careof Art Space, Milan; and the Australian Embassy, Washington. Cope most recently exhibited in ‘Unfinished Business: Perspectives on Art and Feminism’ at ACCA. Cope is a member of Aboriginal art collective proppaNOW.

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

Panther on the prowl

Public Description: 

Paul Wood’s sculptural assemblages combine rejected ceramic objects, kitchen crockery and pre-loved porcelain animals in uncanny and surprising ways. The fusion of these otherwise unrelated items create playful narratives that transcend mere nostalgia and become small monuments to their curious past. Paul’s reimagining of domestic crockery of a bygone era, create masterful compositions of form, from a variety of angles.

Paul Wood’s work has been acknowledged through significant awards such as the Sydney Myer Ceramic Emerging Artist Award (2010), Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona Residency (2010) and the Manningham Victorian Ceramic Art Award (2011). His work has been included in major exhibitions including at ACCA, Melbourne and Icheon World Ceramic Centre Korea. In 2016 Paul’s work was shown in ‘Tempest’, curated by Juliana Engberg, at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.