Swinging branches & rocks build up a visible residue

For Tracing inscriptions 2020/22, a purpose-crafted plotter printer is programmed by Robert Andrew to trace an undisclosed Yawuru text in Latin script, activating strings stretching over viewers’ heads that hook up
to the branches and rocks opposite. Without having ink, the traced letters and words are still left invisible and undisclosed to the viewer. The artist seeks to upend the perceived hierarchy among penned and oral languages – in this scenario, English and Australian Indigenous languages.

Over the system of the exhibition, swinging burnt branches and ochre-coated rocks — suspended by strings controlled by the plotter — slowly but surely establish up noticeable residue on the wall. The charcoal and ochre efficiently produce State on to the partitions, reminding viewers that they stand on Indigenous land. This undermines the trope that a gallery’s white partitions generate a house wherever artworks can be seen without having external reference factors.

The 100 strings divide the central wall into a single-metre squares resembling an environmental study program. The branches and rocks probe and subvert the grid’s limits by rubbing, leaping and crumbling around the demarcations – a reminder that nature simply cannot constantly be contained by human aspirations.

Robert Andrew ‘Tracing inscriptions’

Installing Tracing inscriptions 2020/22 / Photograph: L Wilkes © QAGOMA

Robert Andrew, Yawuru men and women, Australia b.1965 / Tracing inscriptions 2020/22 / Aluminium, electromechanical factors, rocks, wooden, ochre / Courtesy: Robert Andrew and Milani Gallery, Brisbane / Photos: N Harth © QAGOMA

‘Embodied Understanding: Queensland Present-day Art’ is in Queensland Artwork Gallery’s Gallery 4, Gallery 5 (Henry and Amanda Bartlett Gallery) and the Watermall from 13 August 2022 to 22 January 2023.

Acknowledgment of Place
The Queensland Artwork Gallery | Gallery of Modern day Artwork acknowledges the Standard Proprietors of the land on which the Gallery stands in Brisbane. We shell out respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders earlier and existing and, in the spirit of reconciliation, admit the huge inventive contribution To start with Australians make to the art and culture of this state.

It is customary in numerous Indigenous communities not to point out the title or reproduce images of the deceased. All this sort of mentions and pictures on the QAGOMA Site are with permission, nonetheless, treatment and discretion should be exercised.

Reconciliation Action System
QAGOMA has launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Program (RAP) to manual its contributions to reconciliation. See the 2022–24 RAP.