A work in progress sharing of an installation and gathering space created by Alvin Darcy

Friday April 28th 5pm – 7pm, Opening
Saturday April 29th 11am – 4pm, gallery open
Sunday April 30th 11am – 4pm, gallery open

Materials: timber, charcoal, render

Alvin Darcy is a Yorta Yorta, Taungurung man and pyrography artist (freehand burn marking on artefacts, wood, or other materials) through his father, and a Ngarigo, Walbunja man through his mother.

Alvin’s pyrography practice is finely attuned to climate change depicting fauna from Endangered Species lists in Australia. Through his pyrography and sculptures, he seeks to capture the fragility and power of the land, and the remaining culture and knowledge of his community. It is also his response to living and working on Dja Dja Wurrung Country – the unceded sovereign lands of the Djaara people.

For this work in progress sharing of Next on the List, Alvin extends his practice and subject matter to a larger scale in an installation which will eventually include moments of shared story telling.

Next on the List draws from Alvin’s cultural understanding of climate shift and the impacts of changing land use. It proposes a contemporary and evolving perspective on humans as a species now threatened in our present and future climate change context. Specifically, Alvin brings together elements created in timber and uses pyrography to speak to cultural water carrying practices usurped by white settlement and their irrigation systems on Yorta Yorta Country. Between empty water carrying coolamons, the remnant stumps of settlement on drained swamps marked by the passage of fire stand in vigil over an endangered species. Together they invite reflection on a future context where humans along with their cultural practices—such as water carrying systems and shelters—are next on the endangered list. But look closely. You might find signs of the survival routes used by ‘drought specialist’ species.

For Next on the List, Alvin undertook research over 12 months through Punctum and their BEYOND residency and exchange program in early 2022 with Situate Labs in lutruwita/Tasmania, and Latrobe University’s Parched residency on Yorta Yorta Country in late 2022.

Alvin studied graphic design and has since worked in building and construction, landscaping, screen printing, logo design, and bronze sculpture.  In 2019 he was awarded People’s Choice Award – Koorie Heritage Trust Art Prize. His works are held in private collections in Victoria and South Australia and public galleries. In 2021, he had a solo exhibition through Castlemaine Art Museum’s Orbit program and most recently was commissioned by Sharing Stories Foundation to create a large-scale totem series for a permanent cultural exhibition – Boorp Boorp Boondyil (passing knowledge onto our children), on Djaara Country at the Mount Alexander Shire Cultural and Visitor space in Castlemaine.

With gratitude to Pete Curly and Costa for their assistance in sourcing raw timber for the coolamons and Uncle Rick Nelson and Aunty Maxine Briggs for their guidance.

This project has been supported by the Australia Council through BEYOND and Situate Labs. It has also been supported by Parched: Cultures of Drought in Regional Victoria research project in association with La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Shepparton Art Museum with funding from the Australian Research Council under Grant GA137306. 

Explore other experiments shared in our spaces and those created through Punctum’s residencies, partnerships and programs.
John Kachoyan
Sandra Minchin-Delohery
In partnership with Australian Art Orchestra