February 28, 2020
PETA CLANCY is currently being exhibited in Monash Gallery of Art’s ‘Portrait of Monash: the ties that bind’ until 12 April alongside other leading Australian artists Lee Grant, Ponch Hawkes and David Rosetzky. Commissioned for the exhibition, Peta Clancy’s new suite of works within her ongoing ‘Undercurrent’ series delve into Indigenous sites of significance within the Country of Baluk willam of the Woi wurrung and the Nguruk willam of the Boon wurrung. She captures dramatic portraits of nature’s watery reflections located in the area around the Gallery.
“The starting point for the project is a map on page 37 in The land of the Kulin (1985) by Gary Presland illuminating the cultural and environmental significance of the area prior to settlement. A hand-drawn line meandering through the map indicates the Dandenong Creek, [which today] follows the same trajectory as it did prior to settlement. The creek begins in the Dandenong Ranges, traverses through the City of Monash and runs into what was Carrum Swamp, which has now been drained. Creeks and waterways were and still are significant to the Woi wurrung and Boon Wurrung people as they traverse their estate. In the photographs from the series Undercurrent I have explored sites along the Dandenong Creek.”
In celebrating the MGA’s 30th anniversary, the MGA commissioned the four artists to explore the City of Monash as a microcosm of the nation as a whole. Together, they delve into local indigenous sites of significance, the migrant experience, homelessness, and the LGBTQI+ community. Here, Peta articulates indigenous sites of significance through the photographic lens, capturing dramatic portraits of the natural world through watery reflections.
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