Warpulyainthi is a site specific artwork that responds to the myth of South Australia as a “free state” – where no convicts were settled or used for labour – by acknowledging the use of slave labour by local Indigenous peoples, including the Kaurna people where the Art Gallery of South Australia sits. The installation is a colonial kitchen with edible flora and fauna from the Kaurna Nation cast in polished bronze, reflecting the forced removal of culture, land and physical liberty.
Currated by Sebastian Goldspink, Free/State assembles a group of artists who are fearless; the provocateurs, vanguards and outsiders – challenging histories and art forms, and in the process, offering reflections on an era of multi-faceted global upheaval. The exhibition explores ideas of transcending states, from the spiritual and artistic to the psychological, and embraces notions of freedom in expression, creation and collaboration.
Image: Installation view of Warpulyainthi (Colonial Slavery in South Austraila) with James Tylor, 2022.