Everything Man Made Can Be Destroyed
Indigenous information: this page contains pictures of deceased Elders from Gija Country.
A Collaborative work produced at Warmun Art Centre, Australia 2015
Visiting artists Honi Ryan and Abi Tariq
with Warmun artists Nancy Daylight, Desma Juli, Gabriel Nodea, Phyllis Thomas, Rusty Peters Eddie Nulgit,
Alana Hunt and Jane Yalunga.
Below are still images from outdoor audio visual installations in the community of Warmun, picturing the flood waters and the faces of the people who remember it.
In 2011, The community of Warmun was washed away by a devistating flood. By 2015, the repairs were nearly complete and the flood was deeply etched into the community, both in the memory of the people, and in the formation of the town. The skeletons of previous places rest there now, cement foundations in the ground that used to support houses, now empty lots that once were called home. Some trees have markings showing how high the water had risen—but the trees still stand tall, one of them with a fridge firmly lodged high in it’s branches where the water carried it. The tree still grows—supporting the broken, man made debris. These monuments that speak of the layered history here in Warmun evoke fond and personal recall.
The sites of the ruins are still cared for by the people who used to live there, their deep connection to place was not washed away with the waters. Stories of place were recorded, and a soundscape built from this oral history, while
permission was sought to paint these places with light.
Using footage of the actual flood waters, and video portraits of local people, we began a series of live outdoor video installations in the falling dusk light around Warmun. Dusk in Warmun is rich and tranquil, and as the long shadows fell across the vast flat surrounded by the hills of the Kimberley each evening, we created site specific installations that work with these engrained but fluid cultural memories.
Video projections of the rushing flood waters fell with the sun onto water torn houses and abandoned cars, and
slow-motion video portraits of the people were projected into the surrounding trees and rocks. The resulting
compositions speak clearly of the ongoing push and pull between man and nature that Warmun has dealt with so
dramatically since the big flood of 2011. Everything man made can be destroyed.
The people live on, with the trees and the rocks, while the fabricated structures and objects become
indistinguishable under the force of nature.
Everything man made can be destroyed.