Gabi Briggs, Nayuka Gorrie, Dtarneen Onus-Browne, Meriki Onus IRBELA: turn into transcendenceOpening: Wednesday 28 September 6-8pm Dates: Thursday 29 September - Saturday 29 October 2022
If the virtual realm is land-based, can it return us back to country? Can we transcend the limits of all physical experience and knowledge to seek sovereignty within the virtual?
IRBELA, the Anaiwan word for mother and mother’s sister, is the physical manifestation of a metaverse that holds, protects and tells stories of blak womxn who have been relegated to anonymity by the white witness.
IRBELA was created by artist Gabi Briggs who invited Nayuka Gorrie, Dtarneen Onus-Browne and Meriki Onus to consider what she could hold, protect and share. Given the land-based nature of the virtual realm, could IRBELA create a space where sovereignty can exist and, in turn, provide safety and healing to our communities from colonial harm?
Gabi Briggs is an Anaiwan & Gumbaynggirr gedyura (woman) who works on community building projects, is a research-based artist working within a diverse range of mediums, and is currently undertaking research in the Monash Wominjeka Djeembana lab. It is community work that has led her art practice into deep contemplation about colonial harm on kin and country, which has resulted in her eliciting a dialogue about truth-telling and a return to Indigenous Knowledge systems. She intends that the dialogue moves outside the gallery (or publication) and into communities to prompt transformative justice.
Dtarneen Onus Browne is a proud Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta person and Torres Strait Islander from Mer and Erub islands. Tarneen living on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples. Tarneen is a community organiser for Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance working on Invasion Day, Black Deaths in Custody and Stop the forced closures of Aboriginal Communities in WA. They are a filmmaker and writer and have been published in IndigenousX, The Saturday Paper, NITV and RightNow. Tarneen’s film “young mob questioning treaty” has been screened internationally at ImagineNATIVE in Toronto and Tampere Film Festival in Finland. Tarneen’s day job with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are victims/survivors and perpetrators of family violence.
Meriki Onus is a Gunai and Gunditjmara woman living on Wurundjeri country. Meriki is a director at the Foundation for
young Australians, writer, and Atlantic Fellow 2021. Meriki brings has experience in the areas of campaigning, community organising, research, and facilitation. Meriki worked in the legal sector for Aboriginal women’s rights for over 10 years and is the Co-Founder of Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance. Meriki is also a director of of Pay The Rent, a national initiative to distribute wealth on stolen land. Meriki has just completed her master’s by course work where she focuses on the history of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in Fitzroy.
Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer. Their writing centres on black, feminist and queer politics. They co-wrote and performed in the third and fourth seasons of Black Comedy and provided additional writing on the second season of Get Krack!n. More recently, Nayuka was a writer for the sbs/Matchbox series, The Heights (season 2) and the NITV children’s series, Thalu. Nayuka’s writing can be found in The Guardian, Saturday Paper, Vice, Junkee, Archer Magazine, The Lifted Brow and NITV among others. Nayuka contributed to the anthologies Growing Up Queer in Australia and Animals Make Us Humans and is currently writing a book of essays as a recipient of The Wheeler Centres Next Chapter initiative to support their writing.