LOSS. GAIN. REVERB. DELAY.
Multimedia installation, flags, plaster, fibreglass, Waterside Workers Hall, sound, duration 04:13sec.
Photography by Adam Murakami 2017
LGRD complete sound work
LOSS. GAIN. REVERB. DELAY.
During 2016 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in the Waterside Workers Hall as part of the Incubator residency with Vitalstatistix. This residency gave me the chance to further explore my family connection to Port Adelaide and how this connection has informed many of my values and personal attributes. At the end of that period I developed an idea for an exhibition in the Hall, which focused on the transmission of cultural knowledge between generations of family on Dad’s side (my Narungga family). With ongoing support from Vitalstatistix, Arts SA and TARNANTHI I’ve broadened that investigation, culminating in LOSS. GAIN. REVERB. DELAY.
After an intensive period in the Waterside Hall in July 2017, a strong common thread across both my parents’ families came to the forefront of my exploration into identity. Our family has proud and deep roots in union activism and a shared sense of social justice that I believe has shaped not only my sense of identity but my siblings and my parents’ generations also. The Waterside Workers Hall’s extraordinary history of union activity only encouraged my direction of focus.
As part of my time in Port Adelaide I spoke with members of the community and Kaurna elders who all have connections to the hall and its history of union engagement. I spoke with my Dad’s ex-colleagues from Mobil in Birkenhead about his time as an active member of their union. Conversations with Mum’s family has increased my knowledge of our working class roots that stem from the Broken Hill mining community in the late 19th century. Access to stored objects saved from the Port waterfront redevelopment gave me insight into some of the rich maritime culture that surrounds the Port precinct.
My search for information quickly turned into more of an interest in the memories of everyone I’d spoken to. Stories of industrial objects that have unclear origins and vague recollections of events that transpired were something to grasp hold of in an attempt to piece together fragments into a cohesive whole. We all turn to things from the past to inform our understanding of the present, and when aspects of the past become fractured over time we rely on multiple perspectives of a single memory.
The exhibition is comprised of various components across different media. I’ve experimented with the flag motif, the rendering of historic objects, and my own recollection of key conversations I’ve had throughout the production of the work. To experience multiple views of the past most fully represents my exploration of identity and culture, which I attempt to share through this installation.
The sound in this exhibition contains recordings of Betty Jolly and Rex Munn, generously provided to me by Janine Peacock.