The Age | Around the galleries: Robert Fielding, Joy Hester and West Space

Robert Fielding, Echoes #2 (Kapi Pilki Kapi Ilu), 2019 C-type print on lustre paper. CREDIT:COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, MIMILI MAKU ARTS AND BLACKARTPROJECTS.

ROUTES / ROOTS | Robert Fielding.

Robert Fielding traverses time. He melds traditional Indigenous cultural forms with contemporary art practices, where thousands of years of ancestral history are held in tandem with the colonial injustices of the past and present. Practising from Mimili in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia, Fielding shows no formal boundaries: there are low-lit photographs of oil barrels and fire, referencing mining and missions; large, sandblasted sheets of water tank panels adorned in browns and gold; traditional objects forged in bronze cast; and nearby LED sculptures.

Upon entry, there is a mesmerising grid of carved plywood, showing lines of movement that read like infinite trajectories. It is formally exciting. It is also serious. Fielding, with an eye that’s poetic and political, interrogates colonial mythology, questioning who owns cultural knowledge and sacred artefacts. Building from research at the South Australian Museum, Fielding recently reconnected with objects taken from the Mimili community since the beginning of colonisation (Mimili was formerly known as the Everard Park cattle station and returned to traditional owners in 1981).

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