Perhaps you have seen or heard whispers about a strange red pulsing light, aminating from inside a dilapidated, vacant looking farmhouse, on the Castlereagh Highway near Armatree. This artistic installation is the most recent work by one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary artists, both nationally and internationally, Tracey Moffatt. Working predominantly in photography and film for over three decades, Moffatt is known as a powerful visual storyteller. The narrative is often implied and self-referential, exploring her own childhood memories, and the broader issues of race, gender, sexuality and identity.
Titled ‘A Haunting’ Moffatts most recent work is formed by a small dark farmhouse with an eerie red glow, designed to be visited alone and viewed from the nearby property fence. The installation itself is silent but is accompanied by the sounds of the landscape. Tracey Moffat describes the concept as “A Haunting wants to play with our nighttime-attuned receptors when our ears check the sound of a twig snapping. When our eyes register dark shapes that seem to cross our periphery. A Haunting can read like a real-life nightmare that gleams from windows out into the darkness of Australia’s great and vast interior.”
The warm, pulsing light explores varied perspectives. Moffatt explains “The 1920s-built house sits on confiscated lands of the Wailwan peoples and other nearby language groups and radiates as if like a dark bloody history that speaks of Colonial settlement and of Indigenous skirmishes with pastoralists.” Additionally, travellers may initially see the light as a possible emergency, or as a welcoming warm light radiating from the darkness of night.
Outback Arts first met with Tracey Moffatt some months ago in a surprising and thrilling turn of events and feel privileged to support such a high profile artist to be delivering this unexpected work in the region. Due to Moffatts exceptional profile, there will be extensive cultural tourism opportunities for the region as art experience lovers travel the country and world to see her work.
Moffatt represented Australia at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017 with her solo exhibition MY HORIZON in the Australian Pavilion, curated by Natalie King and has held over 100 solo exhibitions of her work in Europe, the United States and Australia. Her films, including Nightcries – A Rural Tragedy, 1989, and beDevil, 1993, have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival, the Dia Centre for the Arts in New York and the National Centre for Photography in Paris.
Date of installation late 2021 – late 2023. Or for infinity.
Image: Photo of Tracey Moffats latest installation. Photo by Belinda Soole. Image © the artist