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Aidan Hartshorn, They (Ancestor) #3


Saturday 28 May to 16 July, 2022. Gallery 1 TAC


Country holds within its landscape the memory of the past, speaking to us in many forms – verbal, visual, physical, and spiritual. The retention of memory within a landscape is unquantifiable; it is in itself a living entity – it lay dormant, resting, waiting patiently for a time to surface. The Memories embedded within the landscape are too our Ancestors, ‘They’ come as enigmas hidden and allusive, through manifestations and presences that spiritually disrupt your sense of knowing, what we understand and influence the way we interact with Country.
“They” as the other but they as also familiar and non-specific.

They reveal themselves to us, through stone, wood, soil, water and fire. They come to us through the smoke of ceremony and linger through the trees long after. They have always been there and they have always been around us, watching, crying, shifting, and healing. They will one day be us, and we will one day be them – They live, they breathe, they speak.

Artist Bio:

Aidan Hartshorn is a Walgalu man of the Ngurmal Nation, situated in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales. Aidan was raised in the small rural town of Tumut by his parents who are both of European and Indigenous decent.

In his final year of secondary education Aidan was one of a small number of students selected from the New South Wales Higher School Certificate to have his artworks shown in the 2013 Art Express Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. From here Aidan took a period away from the arts, learning more skills working with sculptural mediums and in 2016 he enrolled in the Australian National University School of Art and Design. Joining the sculpture department, Aidan found a passion for constructing objects that were tied to his dual cultural background and other interests. Through his practice Aidan explores the destructiveness of colonial processes and the connections to country he and his people have with the ever-changing landscape. In 2019 he completed his tertiary education – the first in his family to do so – attaining a Bachelor of Visual Arts majoring in Sculpture.
In late 2019, Aidan participated in the Wesfarmers Indigenous Leadership program and after completion was selected as the Wesfarmers

Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of Australia. Through the program, Aidan joins an incredible cohort of Indigenous curators, educators and leaders who ensure that First Nations presences are held within cultural institutions.