Artist Statement: this mob

Moorina Bonini: Black Wattle Volume 2 is a collection of thoughts and reflections of what it means to be connected within a blak collective while also being connected to Country and community. Our threads of connectedness are made evident through making and yarning amongst ourselves, and across our individual works. Each of us holds a thread that connects us back to our own ancestral lands, to our own histories, our own knowledges and families. The digital space becomes an interface between ourselves; a space where we can speak to and from. The molwa (shadow) has always been an interest to me. An extension of self onto Country – a presentation of self. This showcases the relationship between our bawu (body), mulana (spirit) and woka (country) – each is entwined and connected. They do not work in separation from each other instead, bawu, mulana, and woka work together to form ourselves. 

Jenna Rain Warwick: spying on them in the kitchen, listening to them talk. I thought I was the one sneaking and listening until Maya found me by the eel trap. We couldn’t decide if we would go back the easy way or the hard way until we realised we didn’t know the difference. It’s funny as I think about being watched and also onlooking, I wasn’t a part of original volume of Black Wattle but I was around… hearing about it, talking about it. I feel like the way we work allows me to swim through…. Black Wattle Volume 2 is just about us, and in a way it allows us to talk and be together. I made a horror style shaky short film, Maya was the protagonist. It’s vaguely about a water spirit that watches from the outside, until a certain time at night when the veil between the outside and inside is porous. The more patience, the less we plan and just be. I feel most inspired, it is strange also thinking that others outside of this mob will read, watch and listen to Black Wattle Volume 2 as it feels private, I think that having it online puts me at ease. Not that any of the content is made for our eyes only, just that it seems very personal.

Kate ten Burren: I wasn’t with you all for the fire yarns, and I was trying to look for home in the places I was travelling through while overseas, that were so different (and sometimes familiar) to home. I collected photos of all the red, black and yellow combinations in the changing landscapes. While I was home, I made a work on Country while camping with my family – exposing materials from Country to the sun and washing them in cold Taungurung waters. The works were made while thinking about the ways we connect over space and time, whether we are on Country or very far away. Black Wattle is always a time capsule or document of where we are, at the time we’re making – sometimes unresolved, and sometimes just an experiment. I invited Alice to make a cryptic crossword just for mob. She made me one for a Kris Kringle gift on Christmas and it was the most special present, it’s nice to have something just for us, that you know is handmade, and thought about to make you smile and feel special. Lots of homely vibes.

Jenna Lee: For me, Black Wattle Volume 2 was a chance to make just for me/us, which I think is why my work is so much more personal than usual. There is so much support within the collective to simply make the works we wanted, it’s amazing to have a platform where they can be shared together. My work is really reflective and about moments of connection with people around food and drink. While I was too sick to be away together for our residency, viewing everyone’s works really helped me think about what matters to me about being a part of a collective/family. My series Cures for distance shows three digital scans of food/drink that comfort me when I am missing people.

Maya Hodge: creating this second iteration of Black Wattle has been full of restful moments. Sitting together with Moorina and Jenna Rain up on Wurundjeri Country in front of the fire until the early hours felt like I could breathe deeply again. Being in the city for such a prolonged period of time impacts my ability to create and think up new ideas. Slowing down and cooking everyone a chicken curry from a recipe my mum emailed me made my heart full. This time away allowed me to reflect on my childhood and how coming together to share a meal is more than the nourishment from the food, its nourishment from the people you share it with too.

Are you a morning or a night person?

KTB: Morning! I’m always hassling these mob with messages first thing in the morning.

Is there a sound or song that prompts a where or when for you, that transports you to another time/place?

JRW: crows always remind me of the highway and hot days with not much to do.

Is there something you’ve always collected / What is something you’ve recently let go of/thrown away?

JL: I collect (hoard) so many things – feathers, books, trinkets — always with the justification that one day I might need them for art.

Where do you feel the most connected / Where do you feel the most disconnected?

MB: The studio. this mob: Yeah!

What scares you the most right now / What brings you hope and/or inspires you and your work?

MH: All of the above, the morning texts from Kate.

Through making your new commission for Between Waves, what has been revealed/made clear and/or become more obscured/complicated?

this mob: We realised we want to do more residencies — we loved the process of being together — and that is the work.