Jasmine Togo-Brisby’s If these walls could talk, they’d tell you my name responds to two concurrent events; the artist’s recent discovery of records confirming her great-great-grandparents’ existence as house slaves, acquired in 1899 by the Sydney-based Wunderlich family, and the current restoration of the Wunderlich ceiling panels in Wellington’s Town Hall.
The photographic series continues Togo-Brisby’s interest in histories of the Pacific Slave Trade embedded within contemporary material culture. Wunderlich ceiling panels, distinctive for their ornate pressed designs, can be found across many buildings across Australia and Aotearoa and are now carefully preserved as heritage materials. The overly visible family legacy bears remarkable contrast to paucity of historical records available for South Sea Islanders. Across Togo-Brisby’s photographs, inter-generational portraits force a consideration of who is and isn’t visible within the archives and narratives of history.
Courtenay Place Park Lightboxes
16 December 2019 – 8 March 2020