Fremantle Biennale: Crossings 21, 2021 | Fremantle Traffic Bridge, Fremantle


River facing (8 parts)


an infinite bridge across time

in sky on country in reflection with memory

that water runs through crossing and crossed

shimmers with horizon and song


ancient current disturbed with salted destruction

but knowledge waits with the always of sweet water known

for when these structures are gone

this language will remain in river land song


Under bridge tree text (4 parts)


the soft smooth worn trunk

of those grown upon different water and other knowings of elsewhere elsewhen and always


a forest of lines formed by seeds

that hold the memory of hand and song and story known trees sunk into waterway disrupted


did those who cut and saw

who carried all this knowledge and kin

think that the grain would not creak and listen to ancient song


that these trees would not yearn remember and tell submerged in new ancient waters

did you think you could only see a river once


Strung across the wooden pillars of Fremantle’s iconic old bridge will be these words will remain by Wiradjuri poet Jazz Money. In both English and Nyoongar the large-scale text piece invites audiences to consider the strength and beauty of these sovereign Whadjuk waterways. A declaration, a protest, a love song, these words will remain is an ode to what our rivers remember and tell, their care and their power. Despite violent colonial intervention rivers remain sacred currents placed by ancestors with cause of course.