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Reproduced courtesy of Adam Hill

Refining Culture

Date: 2013
Display dimensions: 675 × 825 × 20 mm
Medium: Photograph
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Adam Hill
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00054560
Related Place:Botany Bay,

User Terms

    A black and white photograph by Adam Hill titled 'Refining Culture' depicting the caution sings at the gate of a Kurnell Refinery in Botany Bay.
    This image highlights the signs of industrial civilisation and gives no indication that there were ever Aboriginal people living in this area of Sydney. Warnings of a 'Major Hazardous Facility' and ‘24 Hour Complaints Hotline' on the gate, underscore the enormity of the impact that European civilisation has had on the East Coast of Australia.
    SignificanceThis photograph by Adam Hill gives a contemporary Indigenous perspective on first contact and the impact of Eurpoean colonisation. Forms part of the East Coast Encounter exhibition.
    HistoryThis work by Adam Hill was produced for East Coast Encounter, a multi-arts initiative involving Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, writers and songwriters to re-imagine the encounter by Lieutenant James Cook and his crew with Indigenous people in 1770.

    Cook's voyage along the Australian east coast has become central to national historical narratives. The East Coast Encounter project asked artists to re-envisage this seminal journey by imaginatively exploring moments of contact between two world views during these encounters. It also brought these events into the present by incorporating artists' reflections on their relevance today, and their responses to visits to significant contact locations. Topics such as encounter, impact, differing perspectives, nature and culture and views of country are investigated.

    Adam Hill is an Indigenous artist based in Sydney. His work is often confrontational and political, yet can also be humorous. Deceptively simple at first glance, Hills work a painter, sculptor and a photographer often uses images of 'western icons', such as this stark waterfront landscape, to reiterate displacement and questions of identity.

    Hill's photographs for East Coast Encounter look at the notion of historical erasure, interogating the impact of Cooks landing here in 1770 by focusing on the present, and in this image, the by 'hazardous' by products of European settlement.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Refining Culture

    Collection title: East Coast Encounters collection

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