This series explores current and historical narratives around relationships to land and perceptions of Aboriginal culture. Steven Rhall reflects on his experience as a Taungurung man, within the broader scope of contemporary Aboriginal identity. He has created a body of work that encourages dialogue through both what is present and what is absent.
Made throughout the Kulin Nation that envelopes Melbourne and much of its surrounding area, these images are records of connection, disconnection, history and knowledge. The works are informed by a range of responses to each area and landscape of the Kulin Nation—Woiwurrung, Taungurung, Wathaurung, Boonwurrung, and Dja Dja Wurrung—their boundries and social environments.
Rhall is interested in looking at and recording the environment; how we interact with it and how it impacts on and shapes behaviour. Through his own investigations as well as discussions with Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the community, Rhall aims to inform his audience about the different meanings Country has to the wider community.
The images appear as familiar scenes, but within these places are either an historical and or personal significance. The images are Rhall's responses to the land, or to the stories and histories shared with him. Elements in the images reference these narratives and connections.
Through this work Rhall highlights the fact that Aboriginal people have always, and continue to live in these areas. He challenges stereotypes and cultural norms and aims to start a dialogue about the importance of Country and relationships to the land—our connections and disconnections.
Centre for Contemporary Photography
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