Affinity with one’s culture can reveal questions and enquiries that can sometimes not be answered. We sit on a fine line of understanding the key principles of culture, soon to be handed a pile of inquisitions. As a proud Wiradjuri and Ngemba man from country NSW, I have found myself in a situation where all I can do is question my culture in order to understand where the true essence is placed, or displaced.
Knowledge • Guidance • Passage is a series of works that provide a sense of ease to these questionings. Elders are a wealth of knowledge (as the saying goes), they provide community with their comfort, their understandings, and their love. These works capture the hardships and emotions experienced by many. Aunty Yvonne, proud La Perouse elder, is someone who has guided me along a different path. The path of understanding one’s journey in order to depict one’s directions. Confusing yet highly understandable when we recognise the linage of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander past. This series presents an elder in her home, a side of the story that not many people see, nor understand. We see Aunty Yvonne presenting Acknowledgements at events and conferences, as the community says, being ‘blak’ and ‘deadly’. Yet the home is where growth occurs. Me sitting in her living room, on the front porch, outside on the street – I learnt so much just by watching, and experiencing the home life. Learning the knowledge as Aunty Yvonne passes it down the line and guides it to me, to yet again, pass it on to those emerging into a culture they merely understand.