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Bungaree’s Farm

Bungaree’s Farm is an exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal audio, video, performance and installation art exploring the legacy of Bungaree – the first Aboriginal man to be granted land by the NSW Government. Developed to mark the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Bungaree’s Farm by Governor Macquarie on 31 January 1815, the exhibition is the result of a series of intensive residency workshops led by renowned Aboriginal curator Djon Mundine OAM in consultation with dramaturg Andrea James, and presented in association with Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney. Featuring Artists: Daniel Boyd, Karla Dickens, (BLAK) Douglas, Leah Flanagan, Amala Groom, Warwick Keen, Peter McKenzie, Djon Mundine, Caroline Oakley, Bjorn Stewart, Leanne Tobin, Jason Wing, Chantelle Woods, Sandy Woods. Bungaree – A Man in Space Jung is reported to observe; “it is indeed no small matter to know one’s guilt, and one’s evil, and certainly nothing to be gained by losing sight of one’s shadow. When we are conscious of our guilt we are in a more favourable position – we can at least hope to change and improve ourselves.” Bungaree was a man held in a personal, social, geographical, and historic space. A gallery can be described as a long performance space, open on one side, connecting two other spaces. As Shakespeare conveyed; we all perform our lives and move through ‘this’ space to another space. A human body is an object in space. People and objects in ‘that’ space are open to surveillance and judgment. In the space here are objects and expressions made; where the artists knew each other, and expressions that just look and sound like each other in form, content, character, context, concept, or history. The differences between inanimate objects and living beings are; their voices, their gaze, character, smell, mannerisms and gait; their body language, mental and physical expression. The workshops at the end of 2014 were about the process of bringing into being an extension of the artist’s practice in creating non-tangible expressions of Bungaree’s personality and social being, (moving image, projection, writing, ridicule and wit, in song and music, and performance, both individually and/or in group display). I wanted to shift the Aboriginal presence out of the ghetto of Redfern; to remind everyone, including ourselves, that Aboriginal people lived all over what is now called the Sydney basin – Aboriginal people are everywhere and Aboriginal people do everything. I asked artists to bring a number of ideas around the notion of non-tangible expression for the ‘company’ to workshop into being. We recorded as much of the process and resultant artwork to display with the initial exhibition in 2015. Characters create an activated space, a loaded, charged space. These works in a sense are memories, the detritus, the leftovers; a fetish of Bungaree’s life that are now a piece of art. Djon Mundine OAM Curator