The works in Sounding through Touch were made within a historical mining tunnel in Golden Gully in Hill End, New South Wales. They articulate a bodily engagement with a site of cultural and historical significance to explore how embodied listening can extend drawing as a process of finding emplacement. Through an installation of sonic gestures bounced off the tunnel walls, video documentation of performative responses to environmental sounds, and paper remnants from these interactions, these works resonate with Chen’s bodily specificities and movements in place.
Originally home to the Wiradyuri people, Golden Gully was drastically shaped by Chinese and European miners during the nineteenth century, and epitomised in dominant Australian culture by the painter Russell Drysdale in 1949. This exhibition explores how a female contemporary artist practicing between cultures can innovate traditional methodology and materials to find a space for individual expression.
The artist acknowledges the Wiradyuri people, who are the traditional owners and custodians of the land in which these artworks were made, and pays her respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. The sounds and soil of their country resonate within and mark the artworks in this exhibition.
The artist would like to thank Bathurst Wiradyuri and Aboriginal Community Elders, and Gunhigal Mayiny Wiradyuri Dyilang Enterprises; in particular Uncle Brian, Aunty Leanna, Uncle Bill and Yanhadarrambal, for their cultural guidance and generous support of this exhibition.
Sounding through Touch – Ochre’ is a sound feedback drawing made using the ochre, gravel and unique acoustics of a mining tunnel in Golden Gully of Hill End, N.S.W.