Upside-down Landscape series 2022
"Presenting this new series of prints using the Cape York Lily plant as a reference to home in Injinoo and country, these works are purposely displayed upside-down to reflect the sacredness of land and the countless footprints that have shaped the stories. Our culture tells us that we go back to the land as Aboriginal people and become part of the surrounding environment.
I have thought to change the way we see the landscape through our everyday western eye, and rather flip the imagery, to change the way we think about how Aboriginal people see the land. I have done this so to explore the notion of Aboriginal worldviews where that the land is not what you see when you know it from the inside out. This teaching comes from parents, family members, and elders as they continue to pass on generations of stories orally that continue to shape the land as a spiritual entity and life force.
The Cape York Lily flower is reminiscent of family gathering and bush camping during the 90s on the east and west coast around Injinoo and northern Cape York."
'When we go camping, we empty out the rainwater in the lily near the camp from mosquito'"When we would go camping especially around rainy weather, the water lilies would fill up and become home to breeding mosquitos. Our Aunties and Uncles would ask us to empty or pull them out completely to stop mosquitoes hanging around the campsite. The lilies would grow everywhere through the scrub and bush.
Injinoo (and all Aboriginal) people are at one with the land, sea and sky. We traverse the physical, the natural and the spiritual realms. My work for the biennale is a visual depiction of this philosophy - explaining how the land becomes the human, the human becomes the animal, the animal becomes the land, the land becomes the spirit, and the spirit becomes a device linking these elements. The land will only listen to its people. Aboriginal connection to Country is not just belonging. It is a spiritually magnetic system that connects to all other human and natural elements. You cannot remove the people from the land, which finds its way. The land will flourish when the system is reconnected, and Aboriginal people defend this system." Teho Ropeyarn