Tag Archives: Josh Muir

Road trip

With International travel becoming compromised by health and safety travesties, it’s time for a road trip. The last days of Summer, Adelaide Fringe, is an ideal destination. If you have time, take the scenic ocean route, otherwise head inland via the flat farmlands, it may be a rather dull journey but there are a couple of gems on the way, including the regional Art Galleries, a pink lake and a puppet shop. 

Ballarat

Ballarat’s Art  Gallery hosts 11,000 works exploring themes such as Country, Place, Home & Disruption.

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Top: ‘A Love Story’ by Emanuel Phillips Fox 1903 & ‘A Football Game’ Russell Drysdale 1945

 

Bendigo

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Established Australian Artist, a Gunditjmara /Yorta man, Josh Muir explores the inner navigation of being an original people within a post Colonial culture. He is an insider and a spectator from both perspectives that would create a quandary, unique to the artists role. It also allows him to quantify insightful concepts.

Salt Lake

The naturally pink lake is a stella stop on the way and a great place for a walk and picnic. The calm rose lake and it’s white shores create a  surreal environment and a nice place to unwind and contemplate.

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Puppet shop

Expect the unexpected. After a series of townships that offer the traveller mere basics; bad coffee, fried food and petrol we stumble across the Kaniva Puppet shop! Creative entrepreneurs, find niches and see beyond limitations. The shop and its mini theatre has enhanced the local schools creative agenda.

Fringe Festival

Arriving in Adelaide for the final week of Fringe Festival and enjoying a glass of wine in ‘The Garden of Unearthly Delights’.

It is a temporary village within the garden, where you can see slices of comedy within tents and creative structures. Summer is going down in Australia, but autumn is beautiful.

in Melbourne.

 

Still Here by Josh Muir, a White Night Sensation

Crowds gathered around NGV International on the crisp cool Saturday night, to enjoy the White Night projections. The mood was relaxed as the audience waited for the remains of the day, to become night.

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The projection used the entire space of the facade, a perfect blank canvas for award-winning artist Josh Muir. Emma Donovan and James Henry provided the haunting soundscape, it was a  flawless collaboration. Still Here was a visual feast with a political edge.

It began with a bird flying peacefully across the building, followed by an eruption of circular abstract formations, representing creation. The new scene was of Aboriginal men on the beach, with a catch, as the women sat in circles, chatting.

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On the horizon, crosses that symbolised the coming of a new culture, draw closer and a storm thunders down, closing the curtains on that era.

In the new scene ,the landscape is less sympathetic, however the newly clothed Aboriginal people continue on with family life. A white van drives down a road to a family sitting together. A white man comes out of the van and pulls the child away, the parents fight the intruder but they are over powered. The child is put into the van and  driven off. The mother wails as the father collapses with despair.

There is a shocked murmur in the audience.

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“They are taking the kids” is voiced throughout the  large gathering.

In the next scene City life has taken over, trams ‘ding’ and cars roar  by. It was a blatant statement. Muir was evoking the viewer through the power of Art. It was stunning.

‘I am a proud Yorta Yorta/ Gunditjmara man, born and living in Ballarat, Victoria. I hold my culture strong to my heart – it gives me a voice and a great sense of my identity. When I look around, I see empires built on aboriginal land. I cannot physically change or shift this, though I can make the most of my culture in a contemporary setting and use my art projects to address current issues of reconciliation.’ WhiteNightMelbourne

If you saw no other projection,  White Night Melbourne was a great success.

Reko Reno at Fed Square
Reko Reno at Fed Square

Other Aboriginal Artists represented on White Night Melbourne were Reko Reno at Federation Square and Pitch Makin Fellas, a group work at The Exhibition Buildings.