Un Magazine 12.1

The Traveller

Julie Gough




Julie Gough, <em>The Lost World (part 2)</em> (video still) 2013. HDMI video, H264, 16:9, 1:15:32 hr:min:sec, colour, sound. Edited by Jemma Rea

Lately I’ve started driving around Tasmania again, making another film. Since 2009 I’ve made twenty-four of them, I can’t stop. Short, long, some seem unwatchable, nevertheless they record and become a record, a counter to so much that seems missing. They are my memory work.

Sometimes it is hard to start, to reverse out of my driveway and find a clear way, afresh, along roads with numbers, past gates with names, around places with their original Aboriginal names and purposes ploughed and purged and gotten rid of by the colonists. We Aboriginal people are this Country, like stolen cultural objects and ancestors’ remains we are charged, like a diverted stream, to find our way back to our proper course, homeland. Imperative impulse. The timeframe for return can be longer than living memory, and so be it. Filming offers the most freedom to use more senses, access different dimensions, challenge notions of fixedness. time/space, perspectives.

I form thoughts and test them on the drive, on who I encounter, on what I see. These become reminders; invocations to awaken and pay attention, they provide the tempo for these excursions past and through the living grounds, and the grounds of surrender of our ancestors.

Some Tasmanian Aboriginal women kidnapped by Sealers:


Every convict, every colonist who arrived here before 1831 is complicit.

By complicit I mean party to, if not literally taking part in a Hunting Party, then not averse to the removal of my ancestors by violent means from their Country of more than 45,000 years. This was the status quo of this island.

LET not those suppose who live in town or in the less infested districts that they are not as intimately concerned and as imperiously called upon at the present juncture as they who reside in more remote and exposed situations.

The crafty and murderous disposition of the Savage of Van Diemen’s land, if permitted longer to go unchecked, would soon spread from one advance to another gathering boldness every time, until at last our towns and inmost sanctuaries would be subject to their invasion, would become valueless, and the colony would no longer be worth continuing in.
— Hobart Town Courier, 11 September 1830

In 1830 and 1831 the inhabitants of the various districts of Richmond, Cornwall, Great Swanport, Campbell Town and New Norfolk in Van Diemen’s Land signed petitions to the Lieutenant Governor George Arthur, of either entreaty to remove the Aborigines, or of gratitude to the Government for having done so. Persistent Amnesia is not an option.

Here are the names of the signatories. Lest they be forgotten too.

The Landed Proprietors and others of the District of Great Swan Port

Francis Cotton (sd)
George Fordyce Storey
Edwin Allen
George Webber
Joseph Allen
Thomas Watson Snr.
Patrick Duffey
Thomas Watson Jnr
William Lyne
John Lyne
William Lyne Jnr
William Leard
James Amos
John Amos
Adam Amos
James Amos Jnr
Alexander Reid
George Meredith
Thomas Buxton
John Buxton
J.D. Harte
John Hawkins
P. MacLaine

Julie Gough, <em>The Lost World (part 2)</em>, (video still) 2013, HDMI video, H264, 16:9, 1:15:32, colour, sound, edited by Jemma Rea

The Landed proprietors and others, resident in the Police District of New Norfolk

Arthur Davies – Chairman
George Thomson (sd)
F. Bell
M. Fenton
Harriet Humphry
R. Officer
John [indecipherable]
David Jamieson
George Raynor
Charles Baker
S.P. Wills
W. Macqueen
John Sharland
William King
Oscar David
D. Thomson
Thomas Stephenson
Thomas [indecipherable]
H.R. Robinson
Edward [indecipherable]
Anthony Geiss
John Geiss
John Terry
J.H. Cawthorn
George Brooks
J. Turnbull
Hugh Clarke
Thos. Shone
Alexander Macpherson
William Abell
William Roadnight
J. Triffett
Andrew Downie
William Bradshaw
Samuel Haywood
Adam Thomson
J. Marshall
D. Ballantine
W.B. Wilson
(sd) Wm Dean
(sd) George Lowe
James Glover
Neills Basstian
Samuel Gay

Julie Gough, <em>Traveller (video still)</em> 2013, HDMI video projection, 16:9, 8:43 min, colour, sound, edited by Jemma Rea

The Land proprietors and others of the Police District of Campbell Town

(sd.) Ben Horne
(sd.) William Hill
Hugh Murray
Temple Pearson
I.C. Sutherland
William Young
Henry Jellicoe
George Alston
E.D. Wedge
Robert Taylor
David Murray
G.B. Skardon
[indecipherable] Wedge
T.C. Crowley
Thomas Thain
James Simpson
Robert Corrie
William Hoad
[indecipherable] Wedge Jnr
Reg. Harrison
F.M. Turnbull
Harvey Wellman
Daniel O’Connor
[indecipherable] Mackersly
[indecipherable] Foster
Alexander Jackson
Robert Taylor
Charles Wedge
Adam Robertson
George Parramore
George Stewart
Thomas Parramore
Arthur Buist
W.I. Ruffy
James Aitkin
John Taylor
Walter Davidson
William Headlam
Hugh Robertson
George Craig
James Mackersy
R.C. Foster (sd.)
Robert Bostock, (sd.)
Fras. Allison
David Shirring
George Atkinson
John Cox
Rd. Willis
Tim Nowlan
R. Harper Willis
John McLeod
David Taylor
John Leake
Claudius Thomson
Thomas Hughes
P. Watson
M. Trenney
Charles McLachlan
W.I.T. Clarke
Evan Williams
William Robertson
Gavin Hogg
Saml. Horton
W. Broad
Samuel Hill
E. I. Leake
Adam Turnbull
W.B. Leake
R. Hepburn

Julie Gough, with Dave Mangenner Gough (voice), <em>Larngerner (the colour of Country)</em> 2018 (video still), two channel HD video, sound, 21:11 min, edited by Laif Johannesen and Angus Ashton

Julie Gough, <em>The Gathering</em>, (video still from working project files) 2015, HDMI video, H264, 1080P, 18:13 min, colour, sound. edited by Jemma Rea, loaned table, enamel on Tasmanian oak, 28 found stones variable dimensions, collection of the artist

The inhabitants of the District of Richmond, Van Diemen’s Land

James Gordon
William G. Elliston
John Ogle Gage
R. W. Murdoch
Daniel Stanfield
G. L. Percival
George Burn
R. Dodsworth
William Kimberly
Rd. Downward
John Espie
J.W. Downward
George Armitage
George Wray
William Jarritt
J. W. Allanby
John Jewell
Silas Gatehouse
J.E.C. Coy
Alexander Laing
Gilbert Robertson
David Reynolds
G. Marshall
M. Lackey
John Hall
John Wise
Clement Gatehouse
William Wise
David Wise
Robert Crocker
William Wilson
Andrew Whiteheart
J. Spottiswood
Samuel Thorne
George Tennent
Robert Thorne
C. Hector
John Cassidy
John Aldridge
Hugh Cassidy
William KearneyWilliam [indecipherable]
Thomas Kearney
John Hall
Roger [indecipherable]
John Till
John Wade
J. E. Blinkworth
A.J. Deane
J. Blinkworth
John Boucher
Philip Ries
John Crocker
James Drummond
John Thomson
William Ross
Thomas Stanfield
William Burgess William Stanfield
Thomas Bonney
Rd. Allwright
James Bonney
Henry Thrupp
Chris. Bonney ?
Henry Glover
Andrew Tolmey
W.L. Handley
Ralph Dodge
John Handley
Barnard Quinton
John McGuiness
George Kirby
Hugh McGuiness Snr
John Billett
Hugh McGuiness Jnr
James Billett
Henry Leigh
James Bingham
David McKie
Robert Guard
J Hayton
John PrestageThomas Mc Asrie (?)
George Hobbert
John [indecipherable]
David Lane
Andrew Counsel
Hugh Coggins
John Laing
William Patterson
Richard Strachan
Joseph Patterson
T. B. Watson
John Mauley
John Morrisby
Thomas Austen
Henry Morrisby
William Woolley
William P. Wild
William Gangell
Henry Batten
Thomas Riley
John Birchall
John Rollins
George Guilford
John Ibbett
Daniel Long
John Worthey
John Wood
Robert Dickinson
William Currie
Arthur Connelly
John Clapison
Joseph Plaston
W. H. Fisher
N. Lusty
Catherine Wade
James Cornell
Robert Docter
William Butcher
N. G. Ward
J. Thomas
John Willis
John Sutton
John Conliffe
Edward Chaplin
Robert Greenhalgh
John Brown
Robert Espie
James Brown
William Espie
Francis Cox Snr.
Joseph Roberts
Francis Cox Jnr.
James Riley
Jane Cox
John Parry
John Clark
Thomas Hayes
Alfred Thrupp
Thomas Giles Hayes
William Johnson
William Hayes
William Waterson
Rd. Lucas
Henry Ball
William Roberts
William Nichols
P. McCabe
George Mundy
Edward Whitehouse Snr.
Robert Evans
Edward Whitehouse Jnr.
Hugh Germaine
John Hayes
George Aylwyn
Thomas Peters
John Easy
R. Peters
Richard Larsome
John Staples
Francis Barnes
George Kearley
James Ratcliffe
Robert Hall
Peregrine Clark
Price Pritchard

Until the colonists own their history, recognise themselves, I will keep being the scratch they cannot itch. I will unsettle them. I will not be diverted or subside

Those incoming were not settlers, their arrival was not benign, they did not settle, they invaded and colonised and exiled and dispossessed and murdered and tried to cover bloodshed and grief with amnesiac prideful invented foundation stories. This brings us to where we all find ourselves today, in our awkward dance, our stand off, our cross-cultural impasse. But there is a shift, winds of change are forecast between us. We must save places together, takayna / Tarkine.

My art shines a light on the dark past. It is a weaving, an attempt to demonstrate our reality, that good and bad cohabit here. This juncture between is a gap I aim to fill with something other than silence. The process of revisiting sad, sorry, forgotten, unresolved, angering stories to make new (art)work also often returns me to Country, and this can be the good. The return to terrain not walked sometimes for generations brings an awakening, energy, self reliance, a refusal to let it wear me down. This shines a light, brings impetus, keeps me going.

What has gone before may not be lost forever, there are traces and threads, that can be twined again, like the reawakening of our nokegerrer (basket weaving) made from the traywooner (flag iris). What once seemed blurred and indistinct is slowly coming into focus. With each new artwork I read Country better, know what will welcome me, feel it happening around me, life.

Dr Julie Gough is an artist, independent curator and writer based in Hobart. Gough’s research and art practice often involves uncovering and re-presenting conflicting and subsumed histories, many referring to her own and her family’s experiences as Tasmanian Aboriginal people. www.juliegough.net