Fiona Foley: Who are these strangers and where are they going?
⬤ Ballarat International Foto Biennale 24 Aug - 20 Oct 2019
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale launches with a performance of the title work of Fiona Foley’s headlining major solo exhibition, Who are these strangers and where are they going? The song is performed in both Badtjala and English by a group of young local Aboriginal singers. The title work of the show, a new commission, is a soundscape utilising an old Badtjala song made in collaboration with Murri musician Teila Watson. It is accompanied by an installation of 3000 oyster shells and sand, which greets audiences as they enter. The song records the Badtjala peoples of K’Gari’s first sighting of the Endeavour, which as Foley notes in her doctoral thesis, was observed and tracked extensively by Aboriginal peoples of the east coast as Captain Cook proceeded in his project of naming and claiming sites along it. TakkyWooroo, named by Cook as ‘Indian Head’, is integral to the work as the site where looks are exchanged.