Dr Fiona Foley / Who are these strangers and where are they going? is the print catalogue for the exhibition of the same title with critical essays by Djon Mundine OAM and Dr Odette Kelada.
Who are these strangers and where are they going? was a major solo exhibition at the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale by Badtjala artist Dr. Fiona Foley, curated by Djon Mundine OAM exhibited in the Ballarat Mining Exchange. This exhibition showcased key works from Foley’s Internationally celebrated 30 year career and relocated to the National Art School in Darlinghurst Sydney to celebrate the 2020 Sydney Festival.
This exhibition featured interactive and site-specific installations, alongside unveiling, in an Australian first, an important musical soundscape to mark this momentous occasion. Created in collaboration with musicians Joe Gala and Teila Watson, this song is an aural recreation and expansion of the oldest known song in the history of Australia, telling of the exchange between Captain Cook and the Badtjala people. Other centrepieces in the exhibition include a 10-metre long, one-metre-wide installation comprising 3000 oyster shells, a recontextualisation of Foley’s celebrated 2001 photographic series Wild Times Call, and a collaboration with Ballarat artist collective Pitcha Makin Fellas for a new installation alongside 2018’s Horror Has a Face.
Dr Fiona Foley was born in Maryborough, Queensland in 1964. She has studied in Sydney and London, and throughout her career has taken an active role promoting Indigenous identity, co-founding the Boomali Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, Sydney in 1987. In 2003, she was appointed Adjunct Professor at Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. In 2004, Foley completed an International Studio and Curatorial Program residency in New York, and has since also been resident artist at the University of Wollongong (2006), Sydney College of the Arts (2006) and Redgate Gallery, Beijing (2010). Foley continues to work on projects, including sculptural commissions and installations, in Australia and overseas.
Djon Mundine OAM is a widely respected and highly sought-after curator, writer and cultural advisor who has played a large role in the arts sector, both nationally and internationally, for over three decades. He received an Order of Australia medal in 1993 for his service to the arts, and has worked with key public art museums in Australia and abroad, as well as with many regional and community organisations. Mundine is one of the country’s most significant Indigenous art curators, and has worked with and curated artists in highly innovative ways, as well as being an artist himself. His 2015 work Bungarees Farm won various awards, and in 2016 his etched figure of Bennelong was projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House to open the Vivid festival. Mundine was awarded the inaugural Indigenous Art Writers Prize in 2017.
The Pitcha Makin Fellas are a Ballarat art collective who came together to find a way to co-operatively create a strong and necessary presence for themselves, their community and their history in a place and time where Aboriginal people are still kept away from the centre of things.
Catalogue / Dr Fiona Foley
- Catalogue / Dr Fiona Foley
June 21, 2020 - December 31, 2022
8:00 pm - 11:55 pm