Wan Dharridji Balert Gumak Kulin Biik
Wan dharridji balert gumak kulin biik is a photographic series that captures the artist standing with strength and resistance within a colonial setting. His face, streaked with ochre, dignifies his connection to his Ancestors and people, conveying the thousands of years of connection to the land and waters. Draping his body Iluka bears his possum skin vest, with elegant burnt patterns of his designs and rich red ochre spreading over the possum skins. The handcrafted design depicts the great connection between land and water.
In English, Wan dharridji balert gumak kulin biik translates to “I stand strong on Kulin land”, and this series is an honouring of Kulin defiance in the face of colonisation. His presence in this space is an act of distruption. At first glance, one may believe that he, nor the ancestors before him, were ever welcomed in. In which structures of wealth, luxury, and privilege were built by the bloodshed and exploitation of Indigenous peoples both past and present. The photos were taken by Brazilian artist Luara Brandao under the creative direction of Iluka.
About the artist
Photography: Luara Brandao
Wan dharridji balert gumak kulin biik has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Hero Image: Luara Brandao
Gallery Images: Anne Moffat