Jenna Lee is a Larrakia, Wardaman and KarraJarri saltwater woman originally from Darwin. Her installation Growing Place (2022) features handmade paper flowers and an animated poem, titled Our Worlds, asking us to consider how we collect and present ‘place’ through language and archives. While partially drawing on her own connection with Brisbane, having lived in the city for 10 years, Jenna collaborated with Aunty Raelene Baker to create the prose.
“The paper flowers are made with multiple editions of the book ’Place Names of Australia’ published between 1973 and 1988. The flowers ’grow’ from walls and across cabinetry, mimicking the way First People’s language has always been present and, with the correct conditions, can once again thrive—creeping its way back into the built environment. The moving poetry re-inserts First People’s voices into historical records of place. Colonial settler words from the book have been rearranged to share the thoughts of the people whose perspective should have always come first.”
Courtesy the artist and MARS Gallery. Projections created in collaboration with Sai Karlen. Poetry created in collaboration with Aunty Raelene Baker. Install assistance from Ruby Lee and Col McElwaine.