“In honour of this place and her matriarchal Gai-Mariagal custodianship we honour her power as a salt water haven. She is the northern beaches, she is breath-taking, beautiful and she is subversive.” – Kate Constantine
In late 2022, aMBUSH Gallery curated and produced an incredible collaboration between First Nations artist Konstantina (Kate Constantine) and Sydney artist Georgia Hill for Scentre Group at the newly redeveloped Westfield Warringah Mall in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
This artwork speaks to ritual and space, where calm, contemplation, and connection begin. Georgia Hill’s ripped forms come to create a new perspective of the horizon and the early glow of daybreak, as Konstantina’s dot formations flow and connect over ochre based purples, referencing flow and constellations.
“In the 1960’s women continued to regularly make their pilgrimage to the sea and to fresh water for ceremony, and boys like me were still being trained (in Culture)” (Foley & Read, 2021, What The Colonists Never Knew). Hill and Konstantina have focused on the power and beauty afforded to this place in the morning light, at that slither of time just before sunrise when all is still, quiet and the chaos of the day has yet to take hold. It’s a breathe, a meditation, a ritual and a space to welcome all the joy that abounds the beginning of something new.”
“From a very early age we were taught the breakdown between male and female philosophy. When the morning star (Venus) Yoolah, comes, that is after Yoolah appears in the sky until the sun rises, it’s women’s time: the men and the older kids leave the women perfectly alone; we don’t go near them. That gives the women of the clan time to look after young children and go down to the water for their practices. It was very organised.
Even when I was a small child my grandmother used to do this. She’d go up and bathe in the ocean in those early hours of the morning and take me up because I was a small child. It was a respectful time; it was a beautiful time of peace and silence. You know, that pre-daylight, that pre-dawn when there’s just that glow to the east.We spoke softly.Then the sun would come up and bang, we were into the daily affairs and the hustle and bustle of life.” – Dennis Foley
Konstantina (Kate Constantine), Georgia Hill