Silent Witness is an exhibition that tells the stories of the People and their Country. It wraps you in Country with large-scale photographic portraiture of scar trees from Wotjobaluk Country, on the banks of the Wimmera River at Ebenezer.
Jim Berg is a Gunditjmara Elder, whose life reflects an unflinching commitment to the continuation of cultural practices and knowledge. “The scar trees were supermarkets of the Land. They provided food, shelter, transport, medicines, tools and weapons. They are a witness to a way of life and freedom for the people to roam at will through their own Country,” says Berg.
Alongside his photographs, Silent Witness features a powerful soundscape created collaboratively with Melbourne composer Martin Friedel that beautifully melds selections of Mr Berg’s poetry and Martin Friedel’s recording of the trees. Immerse yourself in the sounds of the trees and contemplate the enduring significance of these Victorian forests, as you move through the trees within the Birrarung Gallery.
“Take too this gift, close your eyes and hug a Tree. The heartbeat you hear is your heartbeat and the heartbeat of the Tree. For a brief short moment, you and the Tree are One. In time, you, the Tree, and I will become as One, as we return to our Spiritual Mother, the Land. Close your eyes and hug a Tree.” Jim Berg, Gunditjmara Elder.
Silent Witness: A Window to the Past
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Exhibition continues to 9 June 2019
Free entry with museum entry
For more information, visit: www.museumsvictoria.com.au for details.
Image: Silent Witness: A Window to the Past – installation view (supplied)