un Projects is based on the unceded sovereign land and waters of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation; we pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
un Projects

The Traveller


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

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