Dhuwidha dhurraaya

Dig Deeper

8 October 2022  - 10 July 2023

As the inaugural feature artist of the 2022 Indigenous Ceramic Award (ICA) Evans has created a new site-responsive commission for the central staircase of SAM. This work presents an expansive series of fragmented tree roots that give the appearance of scripture, illustrating a narrative for the viewer to discern and immerse themselves in. The installation presents three groupings: Dhuwidha dhurraaya (Dig Deeper); Kapow; and Heartwood (all 2022). Collectively, the installation delves into the matriarchal symbol of the women’s digging stick and the artists’ desire for us all to dig deeper into our shared and complex histories. Rolled and twisted, black midfire and white stoneware clay take the form of the digging sticks, in situ with tangles of fragmented, red terracotta tree roots. A trio of watchful goannas stand guard in and around the works. Environmentally and spiritually evocative of her ancestral Country, it serendipitously resonates with Yorta Yorta Woka (Country) too.

About the artist: Penny Evans is a K/Gamilaroi ceramic and mixed media artist, based on Bundjalung Country in the town of Lismore, New South Wales. Evans has exhibited internationally and extensively across Australia, most recently in the 4th Indigenous Art Triennial: Ceremony, The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2022); Eucalyptusdom and Clay Dynasty, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (2021); 2018 Indigenous Ceramic Award, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton. Her work is held in numerous public collections, including The National Gallery of Australia, Shepparton Art Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia, and Powerhouse Museum.

Curator: Belinda Briggs

Location: SAM Main Stairway