Natalie Harkin

Narungga artist and academic Natalie Harkin is undertaking a three-year Australian Research Council-funded project entitled Resistance Poetics and Decolonising the Archive: Aboriginal Domestic Labour Stories from South Australia. Through this project she is tracing a history of Aboriginal women’s domestic labour and servitude, via oral history and the State’s official record.

Working with collaborators, including Unbound Collective, and women and families interviewed for this significant research project, Natalie is creating a new installation for premiere at the Waterside Workers Hall with Vitalstatistix and Tarnanthi in 2021.

Drawing on her practice of archival-poetics informed by blood-memory, haunting and grandmother stories, Natalie is developing transformative and healing ways to creatively engage with, respond to, and physically transform the colonial archive, and contribute new understandings to Aboriginal women’s labour histories in South Australia.

Natalie and her team have undertaken short, socially-distanced development periods in response to COVID-19 public health measures in 2020, and Natalie will also participate in Vitalstatistix’s Bodies of Labour lab.

The final work for presentation in 2021 will include an immersive and multidisciplinary installation, a night of commissioned performance and a symposium about domestic service and Stolen Wages.

Creative team: Natalie Harkin and collaborators

Image courtesy of the artist