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"Janjari" 2022

Wall text

Wall text

Fiona Foley

Born 1964, Badtjala Country/Maryborough, QLD. Badtjala.

Lives and works in Yuggera and Turrbal Country/Brisbane, QLD. Pronouns: she/her.


"Janjari" 2022 

three-channel colour video with sound
Courtesy of Hervey Bay Regional Gallery Art Collection. Janjari is a commission from Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, with additional support provided by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF), a partnership between the Queensland Government and Fraser Coast Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
In her award-winning video work Janjari, Fiona Foley engages with Country through history, storytelling, magical realism, and tradition, delving into how each shapes her sense of personhood and belonging. ‘Janjari’ is a Badtjala word meaning ‘spirit guardian’, and Foley’s work is guided by the presence of these ancestral watchers as their kin traverse Country. Accompanied by a swelling orchestral soundtrack, the cinematography sweeps across K’gari by both air and ground, weaving through the sublime terrain from west to east. For Badtjala people, Yindingie, the carpet snake, formed the landscapes of Country and provided ancestors with the correct ways of living on the land.
Throughout the video work, Indigenous performers, dressed in bespoke costuming evoking the nineteenth century, wordlessly move in tandem with K’gari and its spirit guardians. On their journeys, the performers are joined by Yindingie and wongari (dingo). These creatures, often cast in a negative light in popular media, are celebrated by Foley as integral to K’gari’s history, stories, and beauty. Both Yindingie and wongari are companion beings for Badtjala peoples.
In this work, footsteps taken on Country are footsteps taken alongside janjari, connecting past with present and future. K’gari and its guardians are celebrated with each cinematic frame, joyously centring Badjtala people and their ways of knowing, being and doing. 

Audio text to come soon

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