Drawing Wall projects often revolve around conversations and collaborations, and provide members of the public an opportunity to interact with the artists during installation.
Each year four artists are commissioned to produce new work across the 4 x 12m space.
Drawing Wall # 34 - Steven Rhall
"AT THIS SITE"
Steven Rhall is an interdisciplinary artist of the Taungurung People. He lives and works in Melbourne, Victoria. Rhall’s practice spans photography, sculpture, and performance including public and private interventions responding both to cultural histories of place and, ideas about their potential futures.
For this particular commission, the text AT THIS SITE is barely visible with use of gloss white paint on a flat white, almost grey finish. The overstated large-scale text is at once subtle yet ominous and looming, suggestive of a necessary, deeper analysis. Here, Rhall’s choice of words and the context of their presentation reveal intersections of Aboriginal and Colonial cultural histories, perspectives and narratives not always apparent.
Upon reading the text in this space, the viewer forms part of an ongoing narrative of place; their physical and temporal presence implicating them as part of the work. Further, The Riverlinks ticket box window, adjacent Eastbank performance room, foyer and café areas, located within a western framework, sit in juxtaposition to the text, a conversation both circulating within the space and out to its surrounds.
Further inquiry of the viewer to the work will discover it locates them at the site of where, as a young girl, the artists’ mother was removed from her family by authorities. By referencing this place of cultural, historical, personal and consequential importance to both the artist and local Aboriginal community who resided at the site known locally as The Flats, Rhall locates all of us, at this site of significance which a part of all of our stories.
The work sign-posts Australia’s history, the absence of Aboriginal voice, lived experiences and the ongoing presence of the past, ‘at this site’.
Steven Rhall interdisciplinary practice interrogates modes of representation, classification and hierarchy using installation, performance, process lead methodologies, 'curatorial' projects, sculpture, and via public and private interventions. Rhall exhibits internationally, lectures at the Victorian College of the Arts, and is a current PhD candidate at Monash University on Birrarung-ga land (Melbourne, Australia).