Dale Harding, <i>We breathe together</i>, 2021.
Installation view, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.⁠
Image: Sam Hartnett.

Dale Harding, We breathe together, 2021.
Installation view, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.⁠
Image: Sam Hartnett.


22 May — 15 Aug 2021

Dale Harding: There is no before

Combining contemporary art, cultural practices and working with materials redolent of the land itself, Dale Harding, who is of Bidjara, Gungalu and Garingbal, Indigenous Australian descent, presents an exhibition that is evocative of place – the landscapes within Queensland’s central highlands that he belongs to.

There is no before, is the first solo exhibition by Dale Harding in Aotearoa / New Zealand.

There is no before features a new body of minimalist paintings and sculptures created by Harding that add to the canon of his family’s cultural production.  It also includes eighteen nulla nulla, a rarely exhibited collection of taonga (cultural treasures) selected by him and loaned from Te Papa, that he has family connection with.

The exhibition, as the title presupposes, is about art of the now. There is no before collapses time and highlights that Harding’s work is located both within the frame of contemporary and conceptual art, but also within the slipstream of his families’ cultural practice, that pre-dates modernist interest in intentional gesture, reduced and distilled minimal form, by thousands of years.

WharehokaSmith (Taranaki, Te Atiawa, Ngā Ruahine) has created the installation He Puapua ii (a break between waves ii) 2021 in response to the work of Indigenous Australian artist Dale Harding who spent his time in Ngāmotu creating his exhibition There is no before (2020).

He Puapua ii (a break between waves ii) is made up of two pou, comprising untreated macrocarpa, a wood introduced to Aotearoa in the 1860s and used for building shelters, and kauri, a native timber that is rare and prized. Pou are the individual wooden structural elements which typically work together to form the internal walls of a whare but here are without whakairo (carving).  He Puapua ii (a break between waves ii) in the artist’s words ‘makes more tangible the presence of Tūpuna, Atua, Manuhiri and Tangata Whenua, Mātauranga Māori’.

To learn more about Dale Harding and his art practice, please look at the below links:

Dale Harding at Liverpool Biennial

Dale Harding: Through a lens of visitation

Dale Harding and Documenta 14