Series I
Wan Dharridji Balert Gumak Biik

'I Stand Strong on Kulin Land'

This a photographic series that captures the artist standing with strength and resistance within a colonial setting.

His face, streaked with ochre, dignifies his connection to his Ancestors and people, conveying the thousands of years of connection to the land and waters.

Draping his body, Iluka holds a kangaroo skin, with elegant burnt patterns of his design spreading over the kangaroo.

The handcrafted design depicts the five language groups that mold together the Kulin Nation and their connection to Bunjil and Waa’s lore.

In English, Wan dharridji balert gunak kulin biik translates to I stand strong on Kulin land, and this series is an honoring of Kulin defiance in the face of colonisation.

His presence in this space an act of disruption.

At first glance, one may believe that he is out-of-place but in reality, Aboriginal people belong to this land.

His intention is to reclaim a space in which he, nor the ancestors before him, were ever welcomed in.

In which structures of wealth, luxury, and privilege were built by the bloodshed and exploitation of Indigenous peoples both past and present.

The photos were taken by Singaporean (Peranaken and Goan) artist Joshua Sim (@the.dr1fter) under the creative direction of Iluka.

This work is currently on display inside Hamer Hall, Melbourne VIC 3000.

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