QPAC’s Clancestry – A Celebration of Country is a three week program of performances, gatherings and creation of new work, honouring the significant role First Nations voices play in shaping the cultural landscape of Queensland.
As part of the 2019 program, Quandamooka artist Libby Harward created a series of installations across various locations at QPAC in her ongoing art project Already Occupied.
Asserting Aboriginal sovereignty through temporary installations on Country, Libby uses hi-vis and everyday traffic signage, employing humour, language and materiality to spark conversations about Country and her connection to it. Already Occupied explored the relationship between exploited land and the material from which colonialism is constructed as she turns tools of occupation into a vocabulary of resistance.
Libby’s project prompted the question… ‘a paradise lost?’ To which Libby responded:
“The work of seventeenth century English politician and puritan John Milton, whose epic poetry told the story of the war for heaven and of man’s expulsion from Eden, proved portentous. Australia – Europe’s great unknown south land – was to become Hell on Earth for Britain’s convicts. As the 250th anniversary of Cook’s fateful voyage of discovery approaches, Australia’s First Peoples continue to remind the colonisers that ours is a stolen land, and continues to warn all of the dire consequences of the ongoing maltreatment of the lands and waters that sustained us from time immemorial.”