Annemaree Dalziel

Cementa Artwork at Henbury Golf Club Kandos Projects

Whispers in the grass

Materials | Installation and performance

Installation: poa labillardieri (native tussock grass); cardboard; themeda triandra (kangaroo grass) engraved velvet; 19th century children’s clothes made from recycled textiles and native tussock grass; found objects; photograph of Pinnacle Swamp School (1890s) courtesy Shirley Tunnicliffe; lace by Rochelle Sutherland

Whispers in the grass uses native grasses and dance to explore a double diaspora. Many thousands of Highland Scots left Scotland for British colonies, displaced by British laws and practices that had shattered their Gaelic culture. They entered a new Australian society that displaced the original peoples and changed the ecologies of their country profoundly. Some came to the Capertee Valley. What became of their language, their grief, their habits? Do grief and trauma mark our DNA and transmit silently across generations, reawaken with singing of the susurrant grass? Grief whispers in the grass and we dance a joyful unforgetting …

Whispers in the Grass performance: OzScot dancers and local people dance a new performance. Choreography by Cheryl Roach OAM. 5.45pm Saturday 8 April, Red tennis court, Henbury Golf Club.

Whispers in the grass is a performance inspired by the story of local farmer George McDonald, a truly gentle man. His great-grandparents were forced to emigrate from Skye in 1852 to make way for more profitable sheep. They arrived in the Capertee Valley in 1856 and many of their children were born in remote places. Could they have been shepherds? Today George is rejuvenating the land his grandfather bought in 1899 by sustainable farming, returning indigenous grasses to pastures. Forgotten stories whisper in the grass and we dance a joyful unforgetting …

2. Annemaree Dalziel, Whispers in the Grass, 2017.  photo Alex Wisser
2. Annemaree Dalziel, Whispers in the Grass, 2017. photo Alex Wisser
Annemaree Dalziel's bio:

Annemaree Dalziel is an interdisciplinary artist and creative producer. She creates costumes, sets and installations for contemporary performance, notably with Stalker Theatre, The Opera Project, Lingua Franca (Bathurst) and many community engaged projects. She co-created mobile performance work, Origin–Transit–Destination, 2013–15, with Australian Performance Exchange and refugee artists (Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre) and OTD#2 video installation, Performing Mobilities 2015, Melbourne. From 2008–13 she curated the Contemporary Theatre program at Campbelltown Arts Centre, commissioning, developing and producing new works. She was Project Manager for cementa15 and recently completed The Gabion Eel, a public artwork with people in Bidwill, western Sydney.

My practice centres on performance, bringing my work with fabric, costume and set design into a range of venues and communities to talk about things that are important to them. This can be a voyage of discovery as we unearth stories and concerns lurking below the surface of life, uncovering and articulating unrecorded archives of everyday experience. I am very interested in our shifting connections to place, the changes in Australian ecologies under colonisation and the social consequences of displacement of people. I am exploring how smell, touch and sound affect memory, imagination and sense of place.

2. Annemaree Dalziel, Whispers in the Grass, 2017.  photo Alex Wisser
2. Annemaree Dalziel, Whispers in the Grass, 2017. photo Alex Wisser