Jarra Karalinar Steel and Kait James, SAV/OUR, 2022. Sullivan Bay, Sorrento.
Image courtesy of Anatol Pitt
As part of Front Beach, Back Beach, Steven Rhall curated artists Jarra Karalinar Steel and Kait James to develop SAV/OUR. The work operates to disrupt and embed itself into the many possible layers and conceptions of place – across time, space, and the singular and multiple body. As First Nation artists working and within a public art project, the relational is foreground where a place-based framework almost invariably inherits complexities of colonial imposition.
As a collaborative artwork, SAV/OUR’s methodology nullifies the largely unquestioned ‘settlement’ narrative and associated fable, which otherwise frame (and fame) ‘Sullivan Bay’ as part of a wider colonial overlay. Steel and James’s artwork appropriate and remediate, as necessary, the relational modalities of said fables – including the ‘white saviour’ archetype as it continues to exist both problematically and unnecessarily. In relating to a public, SAV/OUR’s various elements operate to assert the sovereign and subvert the relational aspects of the complex framework at its basis.
Sullivan Bay, Sorrento.
Friday 18 November 10 am-8 pm,
Saturday 19 November 10 am-2 pm
Steven Rhall is a post-conceptual artist operating from a First Nation, white-passing, genderqueer, positionality.
Rhall's interdisciplinary practice responds to the intersectionality of First Nation art practice and the Western art canon. He interrogates modes of representation, classification and hierarchy using installation, performance, process lead methodologies, 'curatorial' projects, sculpture, and via public & private interventions. Rhall exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts, is a PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).
Jarra Karalinar Steel
Jarra Karalinar Steel is a multidisciplinary artist known for her Melbourne Art Tram and curating the 2022 Rising art trams, powerful poster art, large-scale public installations, augmented reality, video games, digital art, emu egg engravings, and commemorative signage.
Steel's work explores her identity, memories, pop culture, folklore from her cultural history, and lived experiences growing up in Melbourne and living on Country in culture with knowledge passed down through her family. Steel is of Boon Wurrung, Wemba Wemba, Trawlwoolway, English and Scottish descent, and is based in Melbourne’s south on Boonwurrung country. She is a passionate advocate and consultant for self-representation of Victorian First Peoples art and culture and making sure it is kept alive and thriving. Her focus in public and community art looks at ways to insert contemporary cultural visual language into the urban and digital landscape by reclaiming space and belonging through digital storytelling.
As a proud Wadawurrung woman, James' work explores her identity as an Australian with both Anglo and Indigenous heritage. Her work asks questions relating to identity, perception and our knowledge of Australia’s Indigenous communities.
Utilising Punch Needling techniques, she embroiders kitsch found materials, such as souvenir tea towels, that reference colonial settlements and histories, and subverts them with Indigenous imagery and familiar references. Through the use of humour and vivid colours, James addresses the way white western culture has dominated Australia’s history, and her personal reflections on her Indigenous heritage.
Artistic director & curator: Priya Namana
Operations Manager: Catriona Black-Dinham
Program and Technical Manager: Anatol Pitt
Marketing & Communications: Teagan Ramsay
Documentation: Anatol Pitt
Centre for Projection Art was able to support this project through generous support from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.