Acknowledgement of Country

Dharug

Bayadyinyang budyari Dharug yiyura Dharug Ngurra.
Bayady’u budyari Dharug Warunggadgu baranyiin barribugu.
Bayady’u budyari wagulgu yiyuragu Ngurra bimalgu Blacktown City. Flannel flowers dyurali bulbuwul.
Yanmannyang mudayi Dharug Ngurrawa. Walama ngyini budbud dali Dharug Ngurra Dharug yiyura baranyiin barribugu.

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English

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this Land, the Dharug people, and their continued connection to Country.
We pay our respects to Elders from yesterday to tomorrow.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Blacktown City where the flannel flowers still grow proud and strong.
We will walk softly on this land and open our hearts to Country as the Dharug people have for tens of thousands of years.

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How well do you know the history of the land you live on? Do you know the stories that the land holds?

Dharug artist and educator Chris Tobin and filmmaker Darrin Baker, alongside cinematographer Rabee Rizek, present The Naming of Things, a brand-new audio-visual installation that delves into the history of the 1795 Battle of Richmond Hill – an important story of Dharug Land.

The Battle of Richmond Hill saw New South Wales soldiers clash with Dharug warriors over the destruction of their native food source – yams. This battle signified one of the earliest recorded instances of colonial authorities deploying troops with the intent of population eradication. Today, the important site of the Battle is recognised through a monument co-founded by Chris Tobin and supported by St John of God Hospital.

The Naming of Things honours and responds to this important moment in history, highlighting the power that monuments have in illuminating our shared history and helping heal Country.

Bios

Chris Tobin is a Dharug artist/educator from western Sydney. He has a worked as a cultural presenter in schools and organisations throughout the Greater Sydney area for the past 25 years and hosts regular ‘art camps’ on Saturday mornings as a way for people to connect with and deepen their relationship with local Dharug culture and Country. Chris is a member of the Elders Advisory Committee and is often called on for cultural advice and to assist in ceremonies in a number of LGA’s that fall within his ancestral Country.

Chris’ art has been used in a variety of public art works including the fish sculptures along the foreshore at Ryde, the Story Poles in Northmead PS as well as on signage around the Richmond Hill Aboriginal Memorial and Wentworth Falls Lake in the Blue Mountains. His work appears in schools and institutions across western Sydney, most recently the Catholic Education Office Conference in 2022 and on Parramatta Public Schools’ new logo.

His favourite medium is working in natural ochres creating temporary art works on trees for both public events and private ceremonies.

Chris draws much of his inspiration from his cultural learnings and uses local Dharug designs in his work to share local Aboriginal images and important cultural messages.

Darrin is a Samoan/Australian video artist, filmmaker, and editor with over twenty years of experience in the field. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with a diverse range of artists, producing works spanning film, video installation, TV, and fiction writing.

Born in Blacktown, his works often draw inspiration from the area. Notable projects include “The Underpass,” a site-specific video installation showcased at FUNPARK during the 2014 Sydney Festival, and “Pemulwuy & The Naming of Things,” created for Terra Infirma at Blacktown Arts in 2021.

Darrin has also been involved in numerous projects with organizations such as The Cad Factory, contributing to productions in remote and regional Australia for over a decade. In recent years, he has collaborated closely with Marrugeku, editing “Gudirr Gudirr” and collaborating on the three-screen work alongside director Vernon Ah Kee. Additionally, Darrin’s editing work on the video clip “This is Australia” has garnered widespread attention, accumulating over 750,000 views on social media platforms worldwide. In 2023, he released the feature-length documentary “The Lobster Songs,” exploring the life of an outsider artist from suburban Sydney in the 1970s and 80s.

Darrin’s commitment to amplifying underrepresented narratives is evident in his collaborations with Indigenous artists such as r e a (Rea Saunders) and his current project focusing on youth suicide in remote Indigenous communities. Currently, he is engaged in editing a short documentary for a Palestinian filmmaker about refugee camps in Lebanon and directing a film adaptation of a short story by Greek/Australian writer Yiorgas Alexandropoulos (George Alexander). Through his work, Darrin seeks to shed light on the unspoken and overlooked aspects of society, believing that art has the power to reveal truths often concealed in darkness.

Rabee Rizek was born and raised amidst the rich cultural tapestry of Damascus, Syria, they journeyed through diverse artistic landscapes, leaving a mark as an award winning producer and camera person in the realms of film and theatre. Before immersing into the cinematic world, they found their rhythm as a dancer, a formative experience that continues to infuse their work with creativity and movement.

Rabee’s career was taken across continents, collaborating with a myriad of talents from the Arabic world, Europe, and Australia. They’ve captured stories that resonate deeply, weaving narratives that transcend borders and languages.

Notably, Rabee’s contributions to documentary filmmaking have garnered acclaim, with projects for esteemed channels like SBS and Al Jazeera. Among these works, their dedication to shedding light on the plight of Syrian refugees stands as a testament to my commitment to storytelling that sparks empathy and understanding.

With each project, Rabee strives to bridge cultures, provoke thought, and ignite dialogue, believing in the transformative power of art to inspire change and compassion.

This project is presented by Blacktown Arts and proudly supported by Create NSW, Creative Australia and Blacktown City Council.

   

Image Credits:

Still of The Naming of Things, by Chris Tobin and Darrin Baker
Chris Tobin courtesy of the artist
Darrin Baker courtesy of the artist
Rabee Rizek courtesy of the artist

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