Ruby Davies - The Darling - Known to the Barkindji as the Barka
Exhibition: 3 October to 3 November, 2001
Ruby Davies grew up in outback NSW near Wilcannia, on the Darling River. Her work on The Darling began as a reaction to the outbreak of blue-green algae in the river in 1991. This work is an exploration of the landscape and culture of Davies' childhood from an adult perspective. The Darling looks at the shared history of the river, from the notes made by Thomas Mitchell in the 1830's, to the huge impact of recent farming practices in the region, the auctioning of water and the remains of Aboriginal shell middens and campfires. All reveal how our lives, culture and politics are inextricably linked to water and the land. Davies investigates the expression of culture, memory and history in the landscape. The black and white images in The Darling were created with a pinhole camera Davies built herself. The sense of movement and the infinite depth of field created by the pinhole technique, create a wonderful mood and evocation of the river.