ALEX CUFFE, LIBBY HARWARD, NICOLA MORTON
Curated by Rebecca Ross and Danni Zuvela
14 – 28 November, 2015
This project asks three contemporary artists to respond to the concept of the headland in its many forms, with specific reference to the distinctive Burleigh headland, which has been important for placemaking since time out of mind. The Kombumerri people, a family group belonging to Yugambeh language groups, are the traditional owners of the land. Jellurgal (Burleigh Headland) is a central and sacred place, protected by powerful spirits. Jellurgal was formed in the Dreamtime after Jarbreen, the Creation Spirit, stretched out upon waking from a postprandial nap following a snack on honey from stingless native bees. As Jabreen stretched outs his huge rocky fingers, the land followed him skywards. Today the complex vegetation of Burleigh Heads, which thrives on the nutrient-rich black soils issuing from the basalt parent rock, takes on extra significance as the world’s smallest national park.
The headland can be a metaphor for other precarious ecologies, like the territory inside our minds. Surrounded by development, these spaces are also often unexpectedly complex, and abundant. Head Land offers us the opportunity to explore the ancient and the contemporary, inner and outer worlds, the natural and the technical; spaces that are at once very far but also very near.
Alex Cuffe is a Queensland-born artist now living and working in Melbourne. An accomplished experimental musician, Alex’s past practice has been renowned for the critical dialogue between nature and technology, and for the role of sound in realising individual works, exhibitions and situations.
Current Walls’ Spring Artist-in-Residence, Libby Harward is a local Indigenous woman with Quandamooka heritage. Libby is interested in the neurobiology of trauma and further investigating the overlap between notions and practices of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal art via her connections to the landscape and naturally sourced materials including mangrove mud and sea grass.
Nicola Morton is a Sydney-based artist whose practice encompasses performance, experimental music and installation. Nicola’s practice engages with the natural world in a way that addresses its essential uncanniness.