HUNTING GROUND incorporating Barbecue Area
In HUNTING GROUND incorporating Barbecue Area, 2018, Julie Gough affirms her identity and shares important knowledge about the majority of locations where BBQ areas are constructed across Tasmania which, prior to European colonisation, have always been vital hunting and living places for her maternal family. These particular places have always been important for Tasmanian Aboriginal people to live and gather together, with ready access to water, food and other resources.
These two new works at GASP expand Gough’s original series (2014) by recognising this BBQ area by acknowledging two further BBQ areas located in places of high significance for Tasmanian Aboriginal people. One oriented to the north east, represents Gough’s family Country at the Bay of Fires in far north-eastern Tasmania. The other draws our gaze towards Risdon Cove, across the Derwent River.
“These billboards extend a project, HUNTING GROUND incorporating Barbecue Area, which I commenced in 2014. Today, these "BBQ area" sites with their simulated colonial hut structures, often deserted and disconnected from everyday life, represent the deliberate, senseless removal of Aboriginal people from their Country, the near annihilation of my ancestors. These places are resounding but unintended memorials of the absence of the original people of this island, amplified by the removal of the evidence of our occupation.”
Many tens of thousands of Tasmanian Aboriginal stone tools are held internationally in museum collections - exiled from Country, as were Gough's ancestors. “By broadcasting these billboards at the relatively new GASP BBQ area they highlight patterns and processes of colonisation and question how land is tellingly inhabited, what came before and what has always been here. These works signify the continuing occupation, against the odds, by Tasmanian Aboriginal people, who register and remember the missing and the dead from ‘Risdon’ across the river, and honour the home Country of many Aboriginal people, the ‘Bay of Fires.”
Julie Gough (2018)
Curated by Jonathan Kimberley & Pippa Dickson
Images of work by Daniele Hanifin.
Portrait of Julie Gough by Koenraad Goossens.
This project was presented as part of Swimmable – Reading the River.
With thanks to: