Mathieu Gallois, 2013
In 2005, Gallois had the good fortune to meet Auntie Joyce Williams, Elder of the Wiradjuri people of Wellington Valley, located in central NSW. Starting in 2005 Joyce took the time to sit with Gallois and communicate the fuller meaning of myriad issues relating to Indigenous Australians. Ernest Moulton, Gallois’ maternal grandfather, a British migrant, settled in Wellington in 1944. He purchased the local paper, the Wellington Times, and as its editor was a prominent conservative voice in the community for the next 21 years. Joyce and Ernest lived in the same town, but identified with different communities separated by informal and formal systems of racial apartheid.
Gallois’ discussions with Auntie Joyce inspired the Wellington Projects consisting of a publication and a series of research-based interpretive artworks.
In total, the Wellington project represent an intimate history of Wellington’s race relations, the processes of colonisation and the community’s tentative steps towards reconciliation, highlighting some of the complexities of cross–cultural engagement as well as issues of censorship and selective historicising.
The Wellington artworks were exhibited at Artspace Sydney, Wellington, Western Plains Regional Centre, Dubbo (all in 2013) and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, in 2014.