Craig Walsh’s new exhibition here at the MCA may surprise those familiar with his public art works, which often take the form of video projections onto nature or architecture.
Embedded developed out of a commission from Rio Tinto, which enabled Walsh to spend time in the Pilbara, where iron ore is mined. He worked with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (the traditional custodians of the Pilbara’s Burrup Peninsula), Murujuga National Park rangers, and Rio Tinto staff, developing two spectacular moving-image works and a series of photographic portraits. The works reflect on the connection the local Aboriginal people have to their country, particularly its extraordinary historic rock art.
While everyone in Australia is touched by mining, few know what iron ore looks like. So, into his show, Walsh adds twenty-one industrial bins, brimming with it. Bringing the landscape inside, he turns the gallery into an obstacle course, a labyrinth. Visitors, themselves, will feel embedded.
The accompanying, richly illustrated catalogue doubles as a monograph, documenting Walsh’s key projects from the last fifteen-or-so years. It features essays by Michael Fitzgerald and by curators Judith Blackall and Robert Leonard, and an interview with the artist by Annemarie Kohn.
Embedded is a joint project by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane.
Experience the dramatic landscape of the Pilbara, and hear and see stories from the artist Craig Walsh and the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation Circle of Elders through our special feature microsite Murujuga in the Pilbara
Installation view, Embedded: Craig Walsh, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2013
Image courtesy and © the artist
Photography: Alex Davies
Hear Craig Walsh discuss his use of skip bins in Embedded