Testing Ground: a ritual of recovery

11- 28th November, Watch This Space Gallery, 8 Gap Road, Mparntwe/ Alice Springs.

Testing Ground is a ritual of recovery, that makes visible the damage to the ‘Ilparpa Claypans’, caused by dumping and invasive weeds.

Over the past 12 years I’ve witnessed the escalating deterioration of the ‘Ilparapa Claypans’. Buffel grass chokes Coolibah trees, dumping increases with council tip fees, and 4WD’s plough into the claypans, leaving deep scars in their wake. These impacts are entangled, and underwritten by colonialism, which, as a settler descended person, I am squarely implicated in.

Testing Ground positions my body in service to place, through a daily practice of walking and recovering dumped material and invasive weeds. The re-presentation of these materials in the gallery space brings these harms into the public sphere, and with them questions of settler responsibilities for the damage caused by colonialism’s invasion and neglect of Aboriginal land.

Performance Installation: Kelly Lee Hickey

Sound Installation: Kelly Lee Hickey and Elliot Hughes.

Audiences are invited to witness the ritual in the Watch This Space gallery at 12pm Wednesday to Saturday, until the 28th November (no booking needed).

To participate in the ritual, please text 0498187461.

Testing Ground takes place on the unceded Arrernte lands. We recognise and respect the Arrernte people as the custodians and owners of this place.

This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.

Photo Credit: Kate La Greca