Harts Mill Projections

By | 1 December 2013
Hot February-dark
summer’s still
Old Harts Mill
potent site
- then along comes r e a

Harts Mill        remnant 19th century flourmill        five stories strong on the banks        Port River       I am small at the wharf’s edge       here      across the water       Kaurna campsites     Glanville    birthplace and home to Lartelare      keeper of the black swans      Lartelare     from this site with the sun firmly set I face west toward a big sky     in shadows I sit      watch      exhale over dark water      my eyes fixed on the Newport Quays Consortium $2 billion redevelopment     all lit-up in neon satisfaction       high-rise high-density domesticity      waterside housing for the rich     a glittering neo-colonial backdrop reflecting on this black-night’s river       this river…

…this river flooded with story carries memory on undercurrents that pull and twist in surprising directions        captures moments       drags them down        settles with sediment      layers of residual voices       visions       objects       stirred and compacted thick        mix       rich silted mud-like-blood        pulsing with dreams       past-lives      pulsing      eroding an inevitable ephemeral change       stories roar       whisper      respond to the force of time      they transform upon tides       rise and fall with the moon         consolidate and rupture to shift    then drift        currents circulate into new moments       seep into past-present-future memories      imprint      fine-silt your skin       a subtle translucent familiar       drops of essence       spills of blood      a trace       lingering on an infinity of restless souls…    

…black-swan ripples hold my gaze       the river swells      currents tempt       I dive in drink it all        dissolve        time luring deep-deeper toward shards of light       slice and glide       a soft sliding fade where sun cannot reach       where the surface no longer glistens     the quietest-dark but never still      these currents churn through inlets-outlets-islands      murmur under over and all around        I sink deeper       my skin chills on memories       a decade of protest      hand-holding-harmony      flag-flying-peace       torrent-rage     I can hear the Lartelare-Glanville Land Action Group standing strong-with-song       on this land       and my mouth floods with the voice of a thousand screams      there is no fresh-water river here      generations of bloodshed and tears drive the tides        I open up to taste it all       sweet-solidarity      salty-sorrow      the struggle’s bitter-end     we stood strong with Lartelare’s granddaughter         beloved elder Aunty wise-friend      stood strong with descendants and ancestors against this New Port Quays Consortium development       rippling      reflecting      new neon-light stories under a dark moon        with heavy-hearts shimmering      lapping      floating back to me     but here      on this land known as Yerta Bulti     we are still awake in the land of sleep      we are still afloat     on the land of grief…

…the land of grief      here      at this site        this hot February night      I remember       I miss my beloved elder-Aunty-wise friend      I float on my imaginings to her      together we watch ‘campfires lit up all the way to Outer Harbor… just like fairyland’     no high-rise-neon-light-dreams here       only Lefevre-Peninsula-Love on a quiet drift of memories     here      in this melancholic-moment I am transfixed in a haunting of projections      Harts Mill transformed      a screening of poetic-visioning       I am captured by r e a’s work     convinced I am held in that moment so they can appear        right here      my Nanna and Great-Grandmother      they rise from the sediment to drift through black water from another lifetime ago      they rise from the sediment       prick the fine hairs on my skin      brush breathe whisper against my cheek     they rise from the sediment       their hearts pound in my throat        they tell me things     like how they ran      and they ran       they ran     away and toward each other      to exhale into each other      away     in search for home.

A response to r e a’s work PolesApart – Tracking, 2011 – single-channel video [7mins] reworked from the original PolesApart series, 2009. This new work in progress was created for the Stop(the)Gap/Mind(the)gap: International Indigenous art in motion, 2011, exhibition where r e a’s work was projected onto Heart’s Mill in Port Adelaide.

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