Murmurations is a public response to the unique history of the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Hyde Park Barracks as a site representing the forced migration of people.
Commissioned artists Tony Albert and Angela Tiatia have teamed up with creatives Lille Madden and Alina Olivares-Panucci to research natural connections and intertwined cultural knowledge. They will develop a collaborative artwork that brings together First Nations cultural perspectives from Australia and the Pacific.
The work creatively responds to the site and provides audiences with new perspectives regarding the Barracks and its ongoing relevance today. The artwork will be delivered through digital formats including custom-built large-format screens and immersive audio and sound. Central to the installation will be a specially curated program of talks, demonstrations, workshops and performances that deepen audience engagement in the artwork and site, culminating in a community cultural festival on 28 May 2023.
Supported by the NSW Government and the City of Sydney. Murmurations is the fourth artwork created for the Hyde Park Barracks annual art commission.
Tony Albert’s multidisciplinary practice investigates contemporary legacies of colonialism, prompting audiences to contemplate the human condition. Drawing on both personal and collective histories, Albert explores the ways in which optimism might be utilised to overcome adversity. His work poses important questions such as how do we remember, give justice to, and rewrite complex and traumatic histories? Albert’s technique and imagery are distinctly contemporary, displacing traditional Australian Aboriginal aesthetics with an urban conceptuality. Appropriating textual references from sources as diverse as popular music, film, fiction and art history, Albert plays with the tension arising from the visibility, and in-turn, the invisibility of Aboriginal People across news media, literature and the visual world.
Albert has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. His work is well represented in major national collections including the National Gallery of Australia and Australian War Memorial, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.
Samoan and Australian artist Angela Tiatia explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture. Tiatia has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally in major solo exhibitions and important institutional group exhibitions.
Tiatia’s work is held in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Australian War Memorial Museum, Canberra; and the Australian Museum, Sydney.
She was awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellow (2019), Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Artist Award (2018) and Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2018). Tiatia has been a finalist in numerous prestigious awards including the Edinburgh Short Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Archibald Prize and Sir John Sulman Prize, and the John Fries Art Award.
Lille Madden is a proud Arrernte, Bundjalung and Kalkadoon woman from Gadigal Country. She is a passionate conservationist, artist, storyteller and young climate leader. Madden is the NSW volunteer coordinator for Seed Mob, an Indigenous youth climate network driven by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the First Nations Director at Groundswell. She has worked on and assisted many Aboriginal artists on a number of public art projects. Madden believes the success of conservation depends on our ability to educate others through art about the unique stories of our natural and cultural inheritance. She has also worked on language revival projects, and is a songwriter and performer, creating soundworks for exhibitions and multimedia artworks.