Kayili, there is a hot wind blowing, refers to climate change, privilege, old knowledge, language, technology, love and living. Persson’s work uses several mediums including video, sound, photography and textiles, and includes a collaborative component with local artist Donna Reid.
Related to her direct experience in the Goldfields of Western Australia, the works attempt to weave together different senses of time, and poetically merge the complexity of landscape, Indigenous knowledge, immigration and current affairs.
Donna Reid came to Australia Golfields straight from Nebraska 1970 when her husband Don got a job as a geologist in the mining area. They stayed there for 11 years and Donna worked very hard to fight the governing bodies stopping them to flatten Gwalia- an early gold mining settlement from second wave immigrants from 1905. She founded Gwalia ghosttown as an outdoor museum with plenty of artefacts from Italy, Greece, Slavic countries. Her sculptures are all made from the old wood patterns used in mining equipment in those days.
Filmstills from my documentary with Donna Reid filmed November 2017 finished 2018.
Kayili- there is a hot wind blowing, 2017/18 Digital Full HD, Animation, 7 min
This film was filmed over 2,5 years with footage from the Eastern Goldfields and it's surrounding, Kalgoorlie /Superpit, animals and waterways in the red desert. It starts with footage of the handsized spider the Golden Orb Spider in it's mating procedure which was encountered coincidentially. The Golden Orb Spider is native to parts of South East Asia and Australia. The slik spun by the Golden Orb is a super resilient silkthread in golden lustre. The Indigenous people from midland used to catch their orbs and exchange them for fish and seafood with coastal people as the orb was used as a non-harming fishing net. You throw it into the water as a ball and it opens up as a flower. With its strength it can catch a large size Octopus. It has been used in research for military clothing as its light, resiliant and protective. No bullet can split its thread if woven. I wanted this image to charge the rest of the film as a u-bend. An ancient creature adapted to land and people making these amazing webs, used by many in a sequence of give and take, such as nature. The other images shows the open scars across landmass shoot from a helicopter whilst surveying the open pit mining holes and slime slurries across a 48 km radious in the Eastern Goldfields. Excavation processes, suveys to find gold, platinum and copper. Holes just left open and deserted. It's like pearls on a thread, each hole represent a dicplacement, a sorrow. As the neckless grows longer the mourning of land becomes more and more epidemic. It is not a documentary as such, but as visual punctuations of the ancient, ongoing desire, greed, and leaving a hollow earth behind. The ridges from slime slurries doesn't resist time and like an old scar they start growth of bacteria, sepsis, and death and from above it looks like pus. Seeping back into the groundwater waterways are destroyed and ruptured. The effect of this historically epidemic greed is already showing signs of payback through drought, flooding, ancient bacteria awakening and shifting habitat, cyanide trails in tap water. The film can be regarded as a negative take, but to me it just shows what I encountered over and over again. The trauma of the landscape reflects the trauma of the exploit of people through colonialism.
Geraldine Hogarth and Luxie Redmond-Hogarth are two Wongatha women I worked closely with over the two year period. The film is based on several recorded interviews with them telling stories about their ancestors and close family, and how they were displaced over time and how they try and work with their mother tongue language like Kuwarra to retain it as a living language. As many indigenous groups of people Australian Aboriginal people where uprooted, restricted and retrained to work with white people that had arrived firstly from Britain and Ireland and later with a second wave of immigrants from Scandinavia, Baltic, Slavic and Mediterrainian countries. The map on picture is in an archive and this map was drawn by memory by Geraldines Uncle when he was caught and put in prison for being 'black' and he recorded over 100 language groups together with an anthropologist who worked with the captured Aboriginal men and women and this map shows the different languages that once were alive over quite a small area of Goldfields such as Laverton, Leonora, Wiluna. Luxie is the last fluent speaker of Kuwarra. This film is about 6.30min long.