Situated on the Castlereagh highway, just outside Armatree, New South Wales, within Wailwan country, A Haunting, which the artist describes as a “lighted vigil”, utilises a rundown 1920s house to invoke issues around settlement, domesticity, landscape and the worldwide pandemic. Moffatt has said that A Haunting can also “read like a crime scene”.
Moffatt developed this artwork prior to lockdown when only travel to regional areas was possible. The artist sought to create a work that encouraged people to travel inland rather than to the edges or beyond.
Working with the local community to realise the work, the artist’s commitment to its placement within the region will see it displayed for the next two years. It was produced in collaboration with Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo.
Western Plains Cultural Centre Curator, Kent Buchanan, said the work is “a prescient intervention in the contested Australian bush” and that it engages with “the ubiquitous remnants of the past that are scattered, abandoned amongst the landscape, like rural monuments to success and failure.”
The artwork is a gift from the artist to the world, as “a beacon of hope during challenging times”. Conversely, the work acknowledges the difficult history of European colonisation in Australia, and the ongoing debates around land, sovereignty and culture.
“A Haunting is a house with a rhythmic heartbeat and it burns red. It sits campfire-like and honours First Nations peoples on whose land it sits,” said Tracey Moffatt.
The artwork can be viewed from 6.00pm to 6.00am each night, and is a one hour drive north of Dubbo on the Castlereagh highway. The house is very visible and is on the left hand side, just before the Armatree Road turn off.
The artwork sits within a private property called Sunnyside and viewers are requested to remain outside the property gates. For those wishing to travel to view the work it can be found via the following Google map coordinates: 31°27’01.8″S 148°30’27.3″E
A Haunting is on display from now until the end of 2023. For more information, visit: www.ahaunting.com.au for details.
Image: Tracey Moffatt, A Haunting, 2021 – photo by Belinda Soole | Image © the artist