The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) and Institute Of Modern Art (IMA) presents a new installation by
Australian artist Craig Walsh.
Walsh is renowned for site-responsive artworks using digital video, projection, sculpture, photography and
sound developed collaboratively with local people and communities. His works incorporate stories and
perspectives and connect with communities in a meaningful and empowering process of self-portraiture
in relation to environment.
Building on the MCA project Craig Walsh: Digital Odyssey (2010–11), an 18-month tour and artist residency
to 11 regional and remote locations around Australia, the MCA and Rio Tinto commissioned Walsh to
undertake a four-week residency in the Burrup Peninsula, near Karratha in north west Western Australia.
The brief was to explore the unique rock art set within the site’s compelling natural beauty and open
ruggedness and to realise a new body of work from the experience.
Walsh’s response, titled Embedded: Craig Walsh, is presented in the Level 1 South Galleries. It reflects on
contrasting forms of engagement with the landscape evident through the extreme contrasts on the Burrup
Peninsula and includes the collaboration with the region’s traditional custodians, Elders of Murujuga
Aboriginal Corporation, as well as Murujuga National Park rangers and staff from Rio Tinto.
The installation features moving imagery, photography and industrial containers filled with iron ore.
Craig Walsh explains: ‘I see the Pilbara as a place which uniquely presents a concentration of extremes…
The contrast between the ‘land’ as commodity and ‘Land’ as spiritual and cultural guidance are co-existing
in the installation, and the audience will be physically positioned somewhere between the two’.
In Country (2012) is a multi-screen digital video work. Each screen is synchronised so that one after
the other, the faces of Murujuga Elders emerge from the darkness and speak, describing elements of
the signficance of Murujuga for thousands of generations of original inhabitants. The Elders’ images are
juxtaposed onto the rock formations of Murujuga, literally embedded into the landscape.
Standing stone site (2012) is a wide-screen digital video depicting nature’s shifting light on a significant
sacred site featuring 96 standing stones, the largest concentration of standing stones in one area in
Australia. Co-Curator Judith Blackall comments: ‘The physical profile of the horizon remains fixed and
monumental, unmoved as it has been for thousands of years, while the spectacular transformation of
colour from deep purple to orange red is rendered visible through a technique of high-resolution interval
The MCA Australia and IMA Brisbane are preparing a major new monograph on Craig Walsh’s practice.
Richly illustrated, the publication features essays by Michael Fitzgerald, Robert Leonard, Judith Blackall
and an interview with the artist by Annemarie Kohn.
Embedded: Craig Walsh is organised in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art and co-curated by
Judith Blackall and Robert Leonard (Director of the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane)
catalogue essay by Robert leonard - http://www.ima.org.au/pages/.exhibits/craig-walsh290.php
IMAGE Craig Walsh Embedded 2013. Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney. Photo: Craig Walsh.