Indigenous dance connects us with the ground.
Colonial dance defies it.
I spend a day with Dorsey Smith, an artist who grew up at Kempsey. His mother’s Gumbainggirr and his father’s Dhunghutti.
He used to be a dancer, and now works in a range of media, incorporating traditional language into his art installations.
We showed each other work.
He showed me his picture of spirits coming up from the land and connecting to people. It shows fences, roads and western religions unable to sever their connection.
I show him animations, and he offers suggestions for sounds.
For Road ahead (Oiltrack animation), he can hear animal calls morphing in and out of vehicle noises.
For Iceberg journey he can hear ice squeaking, and waves crashing against ice, until the water sound takes over as the ice melts. No words, he said, were necessary.
It was interesting to see what I was doing from another perspective than ine.