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Artist Residency: Jesse Marlow

Published On: February 1st, 2023Categories: Visual arts

In December, Barkly Regional Arts hosted renowned photographer, Jesse Marlow. Travelling from Melbourne, Jesse joined the team for a week of trips to Community, visiting the studios in Epenarra, Canteen Creek, Elliot and Tennant Creek.

The resulting works are a window into the day-to-day of a remote art centre, portraits of artists are set against the rich, rhythmic landscape they so often paint.

It was the precipice of the wet season, temperatures had reached their mighty peak, seeds dried and were ready to collect. We wound our troopy through dense bushland, stopping for familiar bush medicines along the way.

Papier mâché heads of four local bird species bumped along behind us, perched on boxes of water in our boot. We set up camp by a clump of dry trees; scattering to find precious ntyerrm (seeds).

Later, we ventured further down the road toward an isolated bore where the bird masks anthropomorphised as they were donned. The uncanny combination of bird heads and human bodies seemed to stir something macabre lurking beneath the surface of the cow-beaten station land. A reminder that in the desert, beauty and peril are synergetic.

Select works from Jesse’s time in the Barkly will be exhibited in a group show in Darwin Gallery Coconut Studios in June.

Seed collecting on Alyawarr Country with Jessie Beasley and Dalery Bredd. Photo: Jesse Marlow.

Susie Peterson sorting through the harvested seeds. Photo: Jesse Marlow.

Marlene Philomac collecting bush medicine. Photo: Jesse Marlow.

Rochelle Bonney, Lynette Bonney and Susie Peterson don masks built during Barkly Artists Camp 2022. Photo: Jesse Marlow.

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