Historically documenting the vast sculptural installation stretching across 20,000 square-metres of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
For the 32nd Kaldor Public Art Project Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Jonathan Jones presented barrangal dyara (skin and bones). The project recalled the 19th century Garden Palace building where it originally stood in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, before it devastatingly burnt to the ground along with countless Aboriginal objects collected along the colonial frontier. Barrangal dyara (skin and bones) was Jones’ response to the immense loss felt throughout Australia due to the destruction of these culturally significant items. It represented an effort to commence a healing process and a celebration of the survival of the world’s oldest living culture despite this traumatic event. Thousands of bleached white shields echoed masses of rubble—the only remnants of the building after the fire—and raised the layered history and bones of the Garden Palace across the site.
This beautifully edited and designed publication is richly illustrated throughout, featuring over 100 large-scale historical and contemporary images and illustrations. It includes original essays and interviews with leading Aboriginal writers including Bruce Pascoe—winner of two 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Jeanine Leane, Hetti Perkins and Uncle Stan Grant Sr AM, alongside Australian academics Ross Gibson, Peter Kohane and Ilaria Vanni Accarigi. Barrangal dyara (skin and bones) recovers the fragments of this lost story, and explores its intersecting histories, through an investigation of ideas around landscape, language, history and cultural identity.
Sydney-based Aboriginal artist Jonathan Jones, a member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations of south-east Australia, works across a range of mediums, from printmaking and drawing to sculpture and film. He creates site-specific installations and interventions into space that use light, subtle shadow and the repetition of shape and materiality to explore Indigenous practices, relationships and ideas. Jones often works with everyday materials, such as fluorescent lights and blue tarpaulin, recycled and repurposed to explore relationships between community and the individual, the personal and public, historical and contemporary. Jones has sought to represent both the traditional and contemporary by working with a particular site’s historical usage and current vision. At the heart of Jones’ practice is the act of collaborating, and many projects have seen him work in conjunction with other artists and communities to develop outcomes that acknowledge local knowledge systems to connect an exhibition site with local concerns.
197 × 250 mm
Editor: Genevieve O’Callaghan
Texts: Ross Gibson, Uncle Stan Grant Sr AM, Peter Kohane, Jeanine Leane, Bruce Pascoe, Hetti Perkins, Ilaria Vanni Accarigi
Publisher: Kaldor Public Art Projects
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