Digging Deeper: The Soils Project at TarraWarra Museum of Art

Cool Sh*t, Melbourne / 27 July 2023

The TarraWarra Museum of Art is the stage for The Soils Project.

This exhibition, from 5th August to 12th November 2023, showcases the work of 13 artists. They come from Australia, the Netherlands, and Indonesia. The goal? To explore the tie between environmental shifts and colonisation.

The Soils Project at TarraWarra

A Global Collaboration

The Soils Project is a research-led venture. It’s a partnership between TarraWarra, the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, and Struggles for Sovereignty in Indonesia. Each participant brings a unique perspective on soil as both a literal and symbolic entity.

Delving into Histories

The exhibition digs into deep histories. It examines diverse landscapes and the influence of colonisation. Global industries’ impact on cultural heritage and traditional knowledge also comes under the lens.

The Soils Project at TarraWarra

From Oceans Apart

The project boasts a rich array of art. Australian Bangerang artist Peta Clancy offers a photographic installation. It reflects on historic images from the 1880s. Quandamooka artist Megan Cope and Keg de Souza craft earth maps, using soil chromatography. They feature the Coranderrk Aboriginal Station. D Harding, a Bidjara, Ghungalu, and Garingbal artist, adorns the museum’s windows with natural pigments.

Meanwhile, from the Netherlands, Wapke Feenstra’s video work “Boerenzij” covers Rotterdam’s southern bank communities. It questions rural migration and cultural gentrification. Photographer Diewke van der Heuvel captures the alarmingly fast melting of the Aletsch glacier in her series “Melting Heart”.

Indonesia also adds colour. Lian Gogali, founder of Institut Mosintuwu, presents a communal painting, “Ovarium Map.” Artist and activist Moelyono exhibits two paintings illustrating ludruk, a local theatre form.

The Soils Project at TarraWarra

A Journey Beyond

Dr Victoria Lynn, Director of TarraWarra Museum of Art, sees The Soils Project as a growing entity. It’s set to evolve, with every new iteration being valuable. After Melbourne, the project will continue in 2024 at the Van Abbemuseum. In 2025, it will find a new home in Indonesia. With The Soils Project, audiences can witness the unique narrative interweaving environmental change and colonisation.

The Soils Project at TarraWarra