‘I Know Where Oysters Lie’ is a work of text, image and song that maps Sarah Jane’s research relationship with Laura Parker, an Indigenous Australian Scientist who has focussed her career on the impacts of climate change on marine molluscs, particularly the Baludarri (Sydney Rock Oyster). Laura’s research provides solutions to prevent the destruction of the Baludarri.
The ‘I Know Where Oysters Lie’ creative arts based series sets up an encounter with the Baludarri for the viewer, reader and the listener. By telling the stories of the oysters that lie deep within the roads, the walls, the buildings of the early colony in Sydney the oysters come out of exile and are freed to live again. Through text, music, moving and still images the series asks how can we story the coloniser’s destruction of ancient reefs, stories and traditions in the early days of settlement at Sydney Cove? How we can we honour Sea Country? The encounter maps conversations between artist and scientist in a work that expresses resistance, survival and growth.
The research conversation explores ways of encountering the remnant shell and presents memories, sounds and songs. It ponders ways of connecting to the family line of the Baludarri through the embedding of treasured objects and textiles alongside the shells and within the surfaces of the art works.
Sarah Jane conjures Sea Country and in so doing she opens the possibilities for cultural links for Indigenous Australians to re encounter their traditional lands.
The series sings up recovery, survival and revival.