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Elisa Jane Carmichael
Will we swim together tomorrow through the saltwater waves?

7 November - 1 December 2018

In November we present our second solo show with Quandamooka artist, Elisa Jane Carmichael. This exhibition will coincide with her inclusion in APT9 at QAGOMA. Will we swim together tomorrow through the Saltwater waves? honours the natural and seasonal elements of Quandamooka country which have formed the environment for thousands of years. Through paintings and woven mediums, Elisa Jane Carmichael reflects on visual ancestral experiences of Quandamooka Bujong Djara (Mother Earth) to share the beauty, power, and importance of Minjerribah yesterday, today and tomorrow, ngayigany, ngayiganya, ngayigawa (seen, seeing, will see).

Exhibition essay author Sally Butler (Associate Professor in Art History at The University of Queensland) describes Carmichael’s new body of work:

“Words, images and sculptures overlap as lines of verse become titles of artworks and share a ‘time travel’ conversation between artist, ancestors, and country. We, the viewers, are embraced by the exchange. Art that is so deeply invested in sharing and connecting is infectiously inclusive.”

Ngayigany, Ngayiganya, Ngayigawa (Saw, seeing, will see)

When we walk through the sands
Of our island home
By the sea
Through the bush

Can we see the same rock pools you saw?
Can we watch the sunlight and moonlight dance across the rolling currents together?
Can we see the burst of colours of the wildflowers amongst the landscape?
Do we feel the rain from the heart of the sky?
Do we see gum leaves growing on the same branches?
Have the roots spread underneath our feet through the grains of sand you feel?

Do we see our swamp reeds move with the wind the same way?
While watching the grannies gather Ungaire to weave their Bunbi and Gulayi

We see your hands weave with us
We see your hands guiding us to bring our weaving alive
So it’s no longer sleeping from colonisation

From the past into the future
Will we see your footprints under ours yesterday and tomorrow?

We see you walk beside us
We see you carrying country
We see your hands gathering across the sands
On the lands you have been walking for thousands of years 

Will we swim together tomorrow through the Saltwater waves?

Time has passed
Pieces are missing
Sands have shifted
Tides rise in and wash out
Yet the spirit of our Dabiyil, Yarong and Jagun remains  

Woven through the sands and waves of time

We are the people of the sand and sea Yoolooburrabee

We see you…
We weave with you…

– Elisa Jane Carmichael

For collectors

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters, culture, and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.