Two Hundred and Fifty Years - The Coolamon Project
'Our Ancestors live on through our cultural objects. Embedded into the creation of these objects exists a connection to our song lines, mobs and Countries.'
Quotes Rallah in the Journal of Australian Ceramics, vol 60 no. 1, April, 2021.
2019, Photography: Andrew Willis
2019 ongoing, ceramics and sand, 4 x 4m
250 Years (also referred to as The Coolamon Project), is a large-scale installation consisting of 250 ceramic coolamons, made through community-based collaborations that embody a yarning circle. Traditionally made from tree bark, coolamons are cultural vessels made by Indigenous Australian people. These vessels vary in size and purpose, including carrying children, bread-making, and agricultural activities. The installation speaks of a gathering and yarning circle in open conversation; to the diversity of Indigenous Australian Nations; a decolonising of archival principles, celebrating more than 60 000 years of gathering and cultural practice and a commemoration of resilience and strength through 250 years of colonisation.
Jody Rallah (Biri Gubba, Warangu, Yuggera), Dianne Hall (Gamilaray), Maddison Bygrave (Darug), Kyra Mancktelow (Qandamooka, South Sea Islands), Dylan Mooney (Meriam Mir, Yuwi, South Sea Islands), Macarlya Walters (Gamilaroi), Ronda Sharpe (Wiradjuri), Justine Omeenyo (Umpila), Carmen Perez (Wuthathi), Samantha Vines (Gamilaroi), Haylee Pierce (Quandamooka), Bianca Beetson (Kubi Kubi), Carol McGregor (Wadawurrung), Kullilli Geraldine Rose Cora (Waka Waka), Samuel Ramsey (Mamu-dyribal), Sheralee Wenham (Wakka Wakka), Sam Harrison (Wiradjuri), Troy Casey (Kamilaroi), Merryn Trescott (Wiradjuri), Madeleine Peta (Bundjalung, Githabul), Melissa Stannard (Yuwaalaraay, Gamilaraay), Alann Kina (Jinibara), Lisa Anna Caruana (Larrakia), Aunty Hope O'Chin (Kabi Kabi, Waka Waka, Koa, Gugu Yalinji), Nikita Newley (Guivarra, Wuthati, Durambul), Kyah Ninue (Barkindji, Pitjantjatjara), Jason Murphy (Jinibara), BJ Murphy (Jinibara), Karen Hall (Butchulla), Cholena Hughes (Koa), Libby Howard (Quandamooka, Ngugi people of Mulgumpin), Sonja Carmichael (Ngugi people of Quandamooka), Elisa Jane Carmichael (Ngugi people of Quandamooka), Silvia Jones-Terare (Gooreng Gooreng, Gabbi Gabbi, Butchulla, South Sea islands), Sara Jane Moore (Gumbaynggirr, Dhrug), Amanda Hayman (Kalkadoon, Wakka Wakka), Dwayne King (Yuggera), Alan Carsons (Bidjara, Jimman), Charlie Casey (Kalkadoon, Kamilaroi, Wakka Wakka), Ongoing.
Rejecting the Box, 2019, black archival boxes
2019, Photography: Andrew Willis
'I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land which we gather, and pay my respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.'
Gathering on the Sand - Acknowledging Country
The sand of the installation creates a physical Acknowledgement of Country, by respectfully collecting and returning sands with permissions and in collaboration with Traditional Custodians of the installation location.
Exhibited at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) for Hatched, Curated by Miranda Johnson, 2020.
2020, Photography: Bo Wong
The sand collected for this installation was done in collaboration with Noongar Elders with the assistance of gallery personnel. For thousands of years, Acknowledgment of Country and Welcome to Country protocols have been and continue to be practiced throughout the Australian continent. It is important that the coolamons are welcomed onto Country, as they are embodiments of Ancestors and Descendants in another Country of gathering.
2021, Photography: Carl Warner
The Coolamon Project continues to grow, diversifying representation from peoples and Nations across the continent, building relationships, and continuing the yarn.
2022, Photography: Jim Films
The gathering continues...