Fence lines & Digging sticks
In Fence lines & Digging sticks by Yindjibarndi artist Katie West, digging sticks (wana) made in second-hand textiles stand like star pickets under a fenceline of wire.
The two tools, traditional and contemporary, have similar and divergent characteristics in their relationship to Country, unearthing tensions, questions and reorientations.
In developing the work, West reflected on her childhood on a farm on Noongar Yued Country, north of Perth, where she struggled to imagine how First Nations people lived traditionally on the land – as though their stories had been erased from history.
Now each star picket seems like a digging stick, representing generations of Aboriginal women living and working on those lands.