diyalana

CARSON PLACE
20—20 Dec

diyalana

Allara & Coree Thorpe AKA Lucid Juncture

Diyalana, translating to silver wattle in Yorta Yorta, is a collaborative project between musician and composer Allara, and visual artist Coree Thorpe. It is presented in 4 new visual artworks, 4 new compositions and 4 new film clips. It’s a project that explores ourselves, our Yorta Yorta culture and our hopes for the future. 

We encourage you to discover your own interpretation or feelings about the ideas expressed in the works. All the music is instrumental, except for in ‘ngatha nhawa-l nanyirr’ when Allara sings “I’m looking for my digging-stick”. Using the power of composition, the music shares an album length journey alongside time-lapse videos of Coree creating the artworks. 

Do your own research, think critically and find out more about the stories we are sharing. We do not accept ignorance, therefore we hope that this project inspires you to learn about the Country where you live, and the people that came before you. 

Like the versatile plant itself, diyalana is a collaboration between yamak (cousins), sharing different aspects of our kinship, culture and history; we hope it touches you like it has us. 

diyalana

diyalana translating to silver wattle in Yorta Yorta, celebrates our intimate connection with our homelands. A grinding stone encompasses the music, connecting us spherically; up, down, backwards and forwards in time. An integral part of our everyday lifestyles, diyalana was like the oldest smartphone ever, versatile to no end but without the stress of a flat battery! The plant is still used for medicine, sweet drinks and baking, its wood for crafting tools and weapons, and the flowers to honour those we have lost. While grieving the depth of loss colonisation has inflicted, diyalana offers a magnitude of hope. It signifies a way to move forward connecting old traditions to the present. 

ngatha nhawa-l nanyirr 

ngatha nhawa-l nanyirr, meaning ‘I’m looking for my yam-stick’ tells a parallel of two stories. The first is The Cutting, an old Yorta Yorta Story about our Ancestors response to a shift in the tectonic plates at Cadell’s Fault line which occurred not far from Barmah, around 35,000 years ago. The shift changed the direction of the Dhungala (big water, also known as the Murray River), and threatened all life in the area. In response many clan groups came together and used their digging sticks to return the flow to its correct direction. The second story depicts the arrival of Europeans. This work represents these parallels as one, using 38 digging sticks, alarming sound effects and fierce visuals. 

King Plate 

This work is inspired by the breast plates that Older Aboriginal men were forced to wear on Government Missions. Queen plates also existed, but were not as prominent due to the toxic patriarchal nature of most Western systems. Exploring the complexity that Breast Plates have brought to Aboriginal people, the work specifically draws on our direct connection to King Billy of Maloga, from Maloga Mission which both our families come from. Most of the time the replacement of traditional Aboriginal names to ‘King Billy, etc.’ was an attempt to eliminate our identity and force us into their bureaucratic systems. 

Birthing the Resistance 

Birthing the Resistance is an honouring to the strength, resilience, fight and straight up deadiness of the many Yorta Yorta mob that make up our huge yakapna (family). Today our kinship system has become extremely complex as a result of colonisation, but always has and always will run deep into the roots of Yorta Yorta Country. This work shares the ancient Cubby Tree on the banks of the Dhungala, overlayed with a portrait depicting the great Yorta Yorta matriarch old Granny Kitty Cooper/Atkinson. 

Listen to the album

See the artwork

diyalana is on show in Carson Place, Melbourne. It’s off Lt Collins St and opposite Sensory Lab.

Venue

CARSON PLACE

Key Artists

Allara (Yorta Yorta), Coree Thorpe AKA Lucid Juncture (Gunnai, Yorta Yorta, Gunditjmara and Wurundjeri)

Credits

  • Yorta Yorta Translations:
  • diyalana: Silver wattle
  • ngatha nhawa-l nanyirr : ‘Looking for my yam-stick / digging-stick’
  • Produced by: Allara & Coree Thorpe
  • Music by: Allara
  • Featuring: Daniel J Marquez (guitar), Phoebe Elsworth (piano), Pataphysics (trumpet), Maru Elias (drum kit)
  • Artwork by: Coree Thorpe 
  • Editing by: Jay Estorninho, Dardi Munwurro Media
  • Mixed by: Russell Fawcus
  • Mastered by: Richard Stolz, Woodstock Studios

Additional Info

Allara is a powerful Yorta Yorta winyarr. She is a storyteller, composer, director, producer, musician and soundscape designer. With humour and integrity, Allara uses the double-bass and sound samples from Country to weave textures for healing in her work “I am Sovereign, I am Free”. Allara’s innovative music speaks to Blak justice and sovereignty.

Allara was the recipient of the Archie Roach Foundation Award for Emerging Talent (Victoria Music Awards 2021) and is a founding member of Ensemble Dutala.

Allara is driven by collaboration and improvisation, inspired to bring language and cultural practice to the forefront of her work. Mentored by matriarchal Songwomen; her Djetja, Dr Lou Bennett AM, Deborah Cheetham AO and anganya Nancy Bates, Allara has become an unstoppable force for love, art, music and transformation, empowered by her yakapna (family) and her Ancestors, dhama yenbena (old people).

Coree Thorpe is a Gunnai, Yorta Yorta, Gunditjmara and Wurundjeri emerging artist. Growing up surrounded by art and activism, Coree has always had a passion for creativity, for standing strong in who you are and for ensuring that community and family are at the heart of everything.

Coree has been an integral member of the Koorie Youth Will Shake Spears Melbourne-based dance group for over 20 years, but it was in the last 4 years that he has picked up a paintbrush again.

In 2017, he entered a piece into the Koorie Art Show at the Koorie Heritage Trust, where he was encouraged to continue painting after winning the Lend Lease Reconciliation Award, for his portrait of his cousin Adam Briggs.

In 2019, Coree presented his first solo exhibition, titled “Yenbenal Mawa Murrangurang – Ancestors Blood Always” which captured the history and living stories of Yorta Yorta country and people and marked the 80th anniversary of the Cummeragunja walk off. This exhibition was supported by Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Coree is currently working on a possum skin cloak sculpture to enter into the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Over the last few years Coree has also delivered commission pieces to various community members, organisations and mainstream.

Coree uses different mediums that tie into Aboriginal culture. He uses metal and different textures to bring life to his art whilst capturing his connection to country and ongoing responsibility to look after the land.

Coree currently works for Dardi Munwurro (Strong Spirit), an Aboriginal organisation focused on breaking the cycle of family violence and intergenerational trauma in Aboriginal families and communities.