A Spirit Eel slithers across the façade of Hamer Hall, connecting time and place.
It’s Reconciliation Week and while the festival is paused for now, in the spirit of amplifying First Peoples voices, The Rivers Sing will continue to echo through the skies at sunset and the Birrarung will light up each night with Wandering Stars and Ancestral Memory.
A small symbol of solidarity to our city in lockdown and the traditional owners who continue to care for it. We ask that you don’t travel to the works, but consider experiencing them if you are exercising within 5km of your home.
On its mysterious journey, the eel crosses land, river and sea, taking on many forms on its path to maturity. For the peoples of the Kulin Nation the eel is a protector spirit, food source, seasonal marker and timekeeper; the metaphor of the Spirit Eel connects time and place, a story of resilience and adaptation that has been pushed below the surface but never lost.
Ancestral Memory is a physical manifestation of the Spirit Eel, a huge digital projection weaving its way across the façade of Hamer Hall, by interdisciplinary artists Maree Clarke (Mutti Mutti/Yorta Yorta/BoonWurrung) and Mitch Mahoney (BoonWurrung/Barkinji).
Maree’s work explores the customary ceremonies, rituals and language of her ancestors and reveals her long held ambitions to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue about the ongoing effects of colonisation. For Ancestral Memory Maree collaborates with her nephew Mitch, an artist whose own work specialises in the revitalisation of South-Eastern First Peoples practices, to further those ambitions across generations.