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Barangaroo’s newly-appointed Artistic Associates have begun their year-long residency with a tour from the site’s Visitor Services Guides, and are already inspired by what they have found.
Multi-media artists and curators Amanda Jane Reynolds and Genevieve Grieves are Barangaroo’s inaugural Artistic Associates. They plan to use the appointment to create a suite of short films they hope will engage and educate the public about the rich history of the site and its original inhabitants.
“This is a very strong cultural space already, obviously because of the layers and layers of history that exist here but also the work that’s been done to create a landscape, in terms of the plant life and trees,” says Grieves.
“The potential for the site for gathering, for ceremony, that’s what Amanda and I are envisaging as part of this project and it’s already happening here with the Aboriginal Guides.”
Reynolds and Grieves were selected in part because of their ability to successfully engage with communities, and they say they are looking forward to sitting down with members of the local Cammeraygal and Gadigal families to gather information about the site itself and the fearless warrior who lent her name to the site, Barangaroo herself.
“She was a strong culture and lore woman, a strong humanitarian of social justice. She lay down the law and sometimes she negotiated it. So there are records that talk about her that we can learn from; but right now our job is in being inspired by her strength,” says Reynolds.
The pair, who worked together on the acclaimed 2013 First Peoples exhibition at Melbourne Museum, says they are hoping to create a number of engaging films that will deepen people’s understanding and enjoyment of Barangaroo.
“Projects like these are so important because they provide for people to know, to understand and connect, and have respect,” says Grieves. “They provide opportunities for moving forward, for dealing with our history: acknowledging it, respecting it and remembering it.”
The two artists will spend the next few months researching the site and its history before creating various free multi-media works the public will be able to access on mobile devices at Barangaroo.
“Film has a magic and a poetry that allows us to represent these deep stories of place and culture. It’s an incredibly powerful medium in that way,” says Grieves.
“We’re working on creating something that’s engaging, that people can discover for themselves,” she says.
For more information on the artists and their previous work, visit http://www.barangaroo.com/artistic-associates-2016
For information on the Barangaroo Art & Cultural Plan, visit: http://www.barangaroo.com/discover-barangaroo/arts-and-culture/public-art-and-culture-plan.aspx