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hannah brontë ‘tellus terra’ (2020)

hannah brontë ‘tellus terra’ (2020)

“How do I water my children while our country is on fire?”

‘Tellus Terra’ is an original art commission for Sydney Opera House, presented at All About Women 2020.

Hannah Brontë's art practice draws on the natural environment, and the empowerment of Indigenous, Black and Brown women, and spans photography, textiles and video. 

artist statement

The seeds are carried in the canopies and will wait until fat tropical rain welcomes them back home. Stretching out after searing waves surged through, they wake, trickling fluorescent green arms through charcoal country. Colonising plants don’t know the fire, they weren’t born of flames. They don’t know the intricate veins that run far below the surface. It would be impossible for them to feel that deep. Slowly and carefully the native greens settle into the soft terrain, taking up space just like she should. 

The catastrophic fires are an undeniable result of climate change. Indigenous peoples around the world have warned of colonial mismanagement of land, water, skies and people. The holistic nature of caring for country and treating the earth with respect has long been forgotten. The relationship between the country and the Indigenous woman’s body remains an example of the colonial regime’s consistent violence. Now with such destruction, society that has run rampant with poisoning the earth is being shown not warnings but war cries. This moment is a line in the sand. 

This work explores the current state of the ecology,  it is everyone’s business how we next deal with this catastrophe. The capitalist patriarchy that enforces white supremacy is on fire. How do these women - some traditional owners,  others visiting from lands connected and affected by rising seas, droughts and volcanic eruptions, water their children while their country is on fire? How do you affirm your children in this world of such destruction for everything sacred? 


Hannah Brontë Wakka Wakka, Yaegl, Welsh Born 1991 Brisbane

Hannah Brontë's practice draws on the natural environment, the empowerment of Indigenous, Black and Brown women projected into her dreamscape works of imagined futures. Her practice spans video, photography, weaving and textiles.Brontë's upbringing around Hip Hop and protest movements also feeds her love for immersive art events "FEMPRESS",  blending music with installation. She has participated in exhibitions both locally and internationally, including 2019 Transits and Returns, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2019  The National , MCA, Sydney, 2019   Perilous Bodies, ford Foundation, New York, 2018  Pataka- revolutionary women, Porirua, NZ, 2018 Blak- Blak Art Form, Cairns Regional Gallery, 2017 Next Matriarch, Ace Open, Adelaide. 2017 Red Green Blue : A History of Australian Video Art, Griffith University, Brisbane.