6 MARCH - 27 MARCH 2020
Milani - CARPARK
Over 100 years ago the words ‘linguistic poverty’ were printed and distributed in the second edition of the Australian Aboriginal Native Words and Their Meanings national handbook, to describe our languages. Now in its second iteration, Linguistic Prosperity exists to prove this statement wrong  – that our languages have always been abundantly rich and that our prosperity is multifaceted. 
All photographs: Credit - Carl Warner
ARTIST STATEMENT
For all of western history, if it was printed and published in a book, it was seen as the good reliable truth. Almost 100 years ago the words ‘linguistic poverty' were printed and distributed in the Australian Aboriginal Native Words and Their Meanings national handbook, to describe our languages. Statements such as this were published in various ‘Aboriginal Language’ dictionaries and presented as fact with the purpose of providing colonists with a list of ‘pleasant-sounding… musical native aboriginal’ words in which to name their homes, boats and children. These so-called dictionaries published lists of words presented with no context or connection to First Nations People.
With over 250 languages including 800 dialectal variants, these books homogenise our people reinforcing harmful misrepresentations which persist today.
These works exist to prove this statement wrong - that our languages have always been abundantly rich and that our prosperity is multifaceted: in the sheer number of unique languages spoken, the rich depth of connection our words provide us, as well as the collective effort of our people to reinvigorate languages which, through targeted and aggressive colonial linguicide attempts, were almost completely extinguished.
Linguistic Prosperity Vol.2 is an iteration of an ongoing body of work that uses one such dictionary. Presented in this show are new and experimental works exclusively using pages of Aboriginal Words and Place Names, a book which versions are still published today.
 “..those who are in search for names of houses, children, boats and other purposes, will find a rich treasury of words native to their own land…”
While simultaneously being dispossessed from land and waters and having children stolen, our words were served up with no connection to people or place for leisurely consumption of colonists. Linguistic Prosperity Vol.2 takes this fraudulent book and transforms it using settler tableware and focuses on methods of cyclical elemental deconstruction and reconstruction (fire), creation and appropriation.
This body of work views language as a living entity that, under differing circumstances, can wither into non-existent or prosper into abundance.
LIST OF WORKS:
‘THE CIRCLE ROOM’ - ROOM 1
A setting with no place 2020
Floor based installation, black velvet, assorted silverware,
pages of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’, florist fire, calligraphy ink.

Trace of what remains 2020
Triptych, pages of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’, calligraphy ink.

What remains? 2020
Triptych, pages of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’, calligraphy ink.

‘THE FIRE ROOM’ - ROOM 2
Serving plate (grass tree) 2020
Floor based sculpture. vintage serving plate,
pages of ‘Aboriginal Words and Place Names’, book binding thread

After the burn 2020
Triptych, pages of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’, fire

rescued some of the vocabularies 2020
Ephemeral installation, calcium carbonate (chalk dust)

Residual vocabulary 2020
Pentaptych, pages of ‘Aboriginal words and place names’, fire

‘THE DINNING ROOM’ - ROOM 3
Table 2020
vintage wooden table, synthetic polymer paint,
pages of ‘Aboriginal Words and Place Names’, florist wire, florist tape

Serving silverware Set #1 2020
Set of 3, vintage serving silverware, red thread, synthetic polymer paint,
calligraphy ink, pages of ‘Aboriginal Words and Place Names’, florist wire

Serving silverware Set #2 2020
Set of 5, vintage serving silverware, red thread, synthetic polymer paint,
calligraphy ink, pages of ‘Aboriginal Words and Place Names’, florist wire

Chair 2020
vintage wooden chair, synthetic polymer paint,
pages of Aboriginal Words and Place Names, florist wire, florist tape

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