10 Works by Justine Youssef

By | 5 December 2019

Duha Ali, Justine Youssef
Kohl | 2018 | 3 channel video installation, 4 minutes and brass bowls, kohl, sandstone and clay vessels, dimensions variable, video still

‘Kohl’ was created in collaboration with artist Duha Ali. In the work we trace our ancestral practice of making kohl by hand for two consecutive days at a sandstone quarry in Kurrajong, north-west of Darug land. It is a site of ecological devastation, bearing witness to the genesis of Sydney’s colonial sandstone structures and continuously being eroded by human force.

‘Kohl’ contemplates the practice of settler-migrant rituals on stolen land. Traditionally in our villages, kohl is used in a number of ways — applied after prayer, to protect the eyes from the sun, to ward away the ‘evil eye’ and for its healing properties. Through an engagement with site and material, this work creates a conversation around the way in which cultural inheritances exist within, in this case, Darug and Darebin land.

This work was informed by the generosity of the Darebin Aboriginal Land Council who advised us as we developed the work.

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