BIRRPAI - 3D virtual exhibition by BLAK DOT GALLERY


Do, 05/06/2021So, 05/23/2021

curated by:

Presented by YIRRAMBOI Festival in association with Blak Dot Gallery.

Imagine seeing images frozen in time of your ancestors in museums, taken by people documenting an ‘exotic’ sighting. Who has the power over their image?
Ngioka Bunda-Heath’s new dance piece and photographic exhibition explores the idea of shifting the gaze and refocusing the colonial lens that has publicly framed her ancestors.

The photographic element of Birrpai is a father (John Heath) and daughter (Ngioka Bunda-Heath) collaborative exhibition showcasing photographs of dancer and choreographer Ngioka Bunda-Heath’s paternal family members taken in the 1910s up until modern 2021.

The black and white photographs were the work of Thomas Dick, the Port Macquarie oyster farmer whose early 20th century photographs, portraying pre-contact Birrpai life, are internationally renowned. They are the result of an incredible collaborative project carried out intermittently over a 10 year period from 1910; a period heavily infested by racism.

The more modern photographs were taken by Bunda-Heath’s family and friends, capturing memories and moments. This exhibition looks at the portrayal of pre-colonial Indigenous culture through the lens of a non- Indigenous photographer and examines the impact of European occupation, especially on the Birrpai people of Port Macquarie and the Hastings region in NSW.

Choreographer and Performer: Ngioka Bunda-Heath Cultural Consultant and Performer: John Heath Dramaturge/Movement Director: Joel Bray
Mentor: Theodore Cassady
Sound Engineer: Daniel Nixon
Lighting Designer: Siobhain Geaney
Stage Manager: Steph Cox
Producer: Erica McCalman

Birrpai is co-commissioned by Chunky and Next Wave.

Supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, City of Moreland, YIRRAMBOI Festival Resilience in Isolation Fund, Brunswick Mechanics Institute, Besen Family Foundation and Lucy Guerin Inc via a studio.

The photographs in this exhibition are courtesy of the Australian Museum Archives and the Queensland Musume, Thomas Dick Collection.

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