Our festive season installation for 2020
Our festive season installation for 2020 is a symbol of renewal, perhaps more pertinent a theme than ever before.
Given the enormous impact of the pandemic on us all this year, it’s easy to understand that the memory of our recent bushfires has somewhat faded or replaced by more immediate challenges and concerns.
However, many in our rural communities and regions are still living the impacts of the devastating fires, their recovery made all the more difficult as a result of Covid-19.
As a result, our installations to celebrate the festive season this year are not solely an acknowledgement of this unprecedented event, but a tangible contribution to the farmers and artisans who’ve lost so much.
Designed and created by Maria Claudia and the team at Samambaia, the installation was especially challenging to create this year, as a result of so many flower growers losing their crops – and livelihoods – to the bushfires. Maria sourced what she could. The She Oak and Banksia was sourced from Bilpin Blossom Farm; the succulents from Eugalo’s Farm; and the Australian Wildflowers from East Coast Wildflowers. These farms, and many others, experienced devastating losses over the past year, with the commission of this work being one of the scarce opportunities they’ve had for employment in the last few months.
While the charred branches that reach high into the lobby are a striking reminder of the impact of fire on our landscape, the base of the installations are a strong representation of renewal, signifying the regrowth of our environment and land, often made possible because of the cycle of fire that spurs it on – something Indigenous Australians have used to regenerate their lands for millennia.
Incorporated into the installation design are the works of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. International Towers is thrilled to have been granted permission to display these beautiful, hand-woven representations of animals that were once hunted and eaten by First Australians, but are now extinct. At the heart of each installation is one of two sisters, each sitting, adorned in walka (ceremonial painting) on their chests, and wearing yakitiri (headbands) and nimpara (hairstrong skirts). The older sister has a piti (carrying dish) full of maku (witchetty grubs) and is sitting the proper way. The younger sister is cleaning the seed ready to make damper.
The Tjanpi works highlight the importance of First Nation voices and knowledge, and were originally created for TarraWarra Biennial in 2014, and subsequently featured at the 56th Venice Biennale, and at the NGA, Canberra.
The works are available to purchase, with the proceeds supporting the artists of Tjanpi Desert Weavers.
Date and Time: November - December 2020
Location: Lobbies of Tower Two and Tower Three, International Towers and International House