NAIDOC Week 2019: Unveiling of A Series of Unwarranted Events by Hayley Millar-Baker

event date: 
Thursday, 4 July 2019 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm

This event is being held as part of NAIDOC Week 2019 VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH.

Warrnambool Art Gallery warmly invites you to the unveiling of the gallery's recent acquisition of four photographic works by Gunditjmara woman Hayley Millar-Baker from the series "A Series of Unwarranted Events". Purchased with the support of The Robert Salzer Foundation (RSF), "A Series of Unwarranted Events" portrays stories of the Gunditjmara people that expose realities of life during the colonisation of their Country. The European invasion of western Victoria - where Gunditjmara Country is located - was violent, with killings and massacres of Aboriginals too many to count. Stories of skulls nailed to doorways, and rivers running red, serve both as a haunting reminder of a past unforgivable, and as witness to the strength and resilience of the Gunditjmara – never ceasing to submission, no matter the condition or consequence.

WAG is delighted to be welcoming Hayley Millar-Baker to the gallery as a special guest to unveil "A Series of Unwarranted Events".

+ FREE event

+ No bookings required

+ Light refreshments provided

Hayley Millar-Baker

Aboriginality is a complex reality. The condition of colonisation has forced generations to adapt. Cultural practices have evolved into a coexistence that has seen a revival of tradition and reconnection, our stories are being re-written. Hayley Millar-Baker is a Gunditjmara woman from Victoria, Australia. Through contemporary approaches to photography, she draws strength from her Gunditjmara bloodlines, history, and the landscape – confronting and crafting past, present, and future stories of South-East Aboriginal existence, and honouring the connectedness of intergenerational experiences of Aboriginality. Millar-Baker’s works draw from her grandfather’s archive, family albums, and her own treasured moments captured on and off Country. Meticulously layering, cutting, and repositioning imagery – she depicts a coexistence of times, of cultures, of transformation. Through the application of digital technologies, Millar-Baker aligns disparate times and places – melding the collected imagery from her extensive archive together as one, to tell alternative stories and histories. What would it have been like if Southeast culture had thrived in coexistence with colonisation? Through both materiality and process, Millar-Baker’s assemblages critically explore cultural practices and knowledge’s and investigate; notions of blood memory, the evolution of cultural practices, and south-east Australian history, in relation to her own Aboriginal heritage. Millar-Baker’s reflective narrative process enacts a powerful social commentary that acknowledges the strength and resilience of Aboriginal Australia, reimagines what could have been, and reveals the complexities of Aboriginality now.

Artist's website:

Image credit: Untitled (The best means, of caring for, and dealing with them in the future), 2018, 80 x 100 cm, inkjet on cotton rag. Edition of 5 (+2 AP) via the artist's website.