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Joel Spring
untitled (winhangarra)

Creation date: 2022 Location: Gallery 12
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Joel Spring, Wiradjuri people, untitled (winhangarra), 2022, commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra for the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony, created in consultation with Yuin Traditional Custodians, and with the support of Penelope Seidler AM. Courtesy the artist.

Artist Joel Spring on untitled (winhangarra)

You’re always with those who have passed.

That is what Country should be understood as. That's what it means to be a part of the story. You are only in the presence of your ancestors.

‘Ceremony’ as a word or as a description for some people, does mean silence and absence. The absence is not the evidence of something not being there.

It's all a part of the story. We need to relearn the ceremonies that have existed in these places, and I think that that starts with listening to these places.

Even when they’re silent.

The sculptures in Ceremony are the material products of a process that I have been engaging with and researching since I’ve spent time down on Yuin Country. They’re the product of a process that looks like architecture but isn’t performing any task, yet is the way that I feel that culture puts up what seems like a new language of articulating loss and remembrance, and problems that are the product of 250 years of settler occupation in this country. For me, these objects were all moments for material articulations to happen that would speak to this wider strategy, which is about how we engage a community in actively caring with Country and it having material outcomes that speak to these ideas.

— Joel Spring, 2022