Dhawun Guwaala-y

Online Exhibition

Presented by Dominique Chen, Samuel Chen and Nexus Arts

Dhawun Guwaala-y

Online Exhibition

Presented by Dominique Chen, Samuel Chen and Nexus Arts


Dhawun Guwaala-y comes from the Gamilaraay language, meaning earth conversing or having two-way conversation. While peoples’ collective collaborations, conversations and relational connections with Country—with the land, waters, environments, rocks, wind, stars and the enormity of the more-than-human, are always in intrinsic motion, the awareness, value, depth and reciprocity of these conversations may not always be centred.

This exhibition of works by artists from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds, provides an opportunity for pause, reflection and refocus, through the exploration and critique of various ways of perceiving, understanding, connecting and responding to environments over time, and within the contexts of accelerating environmental change.

While diverse in practice, each work speaks to degrees of proximity, emplacement, participation and performativity—implicating both the artist, and viewer, in a collaborative and attentive moment. Dhawun Guwaala-y is a conversation in action. An ongoing sharing and response.

– Dominique Chen


Exhibiting artists: Tom Blake (NSW), Peter Breen (QLD), Dominique Chen (QLD) Samuel Chen (QLD), Libby Harward (QLD), Janine Mckintosh (SA), BJ Murphy (QLD), Darryl Rogers (TAS), Cynthia Schwertsik (SA), Tor Maclean (QLD) and Debbie Taylor-Worley (NSW).

Does the earth speak english?

Are the words here,
the words of a cool gust of wind?

Can the leaves hear that they are leaves? Or are they as deaf to
the vibrations as we are to theirs; like whispers in low familiar
tones, remembered in goosebumps and in silence?

Intensions are on the breath as they are in the breeze.

– Tom Blake & Dominique Chen, except from Bauxide, 2021.

Explore the Exhibition Below

About the Artists

BJ Murphy

BJ Murphy is a contemporary Indigenous artist who takes inspiration from his country on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. BJ is both a visual artist, curator and songman who is dedicated to the continuation of his Jinibara culture. Through his paintings, carvings, wood burnings, songs and curatorial work he holds a deep responsibility to his culture and the representation of stories that have been passed down to him by his family. His unique style mixes both traditional and contemporary forms and concepts.

Libby Harward

Artist Libby Harward is a descendant of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka (Moreton Bay Area).

Known for her early work as an urban graffiti artist under the pseudonym of ‘Mz Murricod’, and her performance-based community activism, Harward’s recent series, ALREADY OCCUPIED, engages a continual process of re-calling – re-hearing – re-mapping – re-contextualising – de-colonising and re-instating on country that which colonisation has denied Australia’s First Peoples.

Janine Mackintosh

I’m an assemblage artist and a caretaker of over 800 acres of woodlands, heathlands and wetlands on the wild south coast of Kangaroo Island. It’s a precious swathe of ecological antiquity, where thousands of species have coevolved for millennia and developed highly complex relationships. My art practice sprang from the study of the plants on the property. I create windows on the natural world, which I hope ignite a sense of wonder, invite sustained contemplation and inspire conservation.

Peter Breen

Peter Breen has worked in the arts since 1998 as part of the Jugglers Art Space Inc team in Brisbane and is the current curator of The Stairwell Project, a Jugglers outreach program. Some of his core interests around evolutionary spirituality, climate change and social justice influence his art’s practice where his mark making is an attempted representation of aspects of these issues and where beauty, as both subjective and indescribable he finds imbedded in dissonant events.

Tom Blake

Tom’s solo and collaborative practice draws on fragmented moments, looped imagery and recurring motifs as potential sites for contemplating the psychological, architectural and technological frameworks that surround us. Tom has exhibited in Australia, Japan and Italy and has undertaken residencies with the Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM) Chiloé, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), North Metro TAFE (formerly Central Institute of Technology), Fremantle Arts Centre, Tenjinyama Art Studios and Parramatta Artists’ Studios.

Cynthia Schwertsik

Cynthia Schwertsik’s art practice includes visual art and contemporary performance with a focus on activating public space through collaborations. She has generated an array of diverse projects across drawing, public art and performance. Her work has been presented across Europe, Australia, South Africa and in the US.

Schwertsik holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (2016) from Adelaide Central School of Art and a Dance Diploma from T-Junction, Vienna.

Darryl Rogers

Darryl Rogers is an Australian time-based media artist who works with video, immersive, augmented and virtual reality installation.

His work has been shown extensively across the world, including, Times Square NYC, LOOP Barcelona, FACT UK, UMW Media Wall USA and many other video arts festivals around the world.

Darryl's work questions the nature of matter to understand what actually matters.

Debbie Taylor-Worley

My art practise is everchanging and multidisciplinary, working mainly with clay and textiles. However, common themes run throughout my work; the symbols used in “women’s business” rituals, both within the Gamilaraay nation and European nations associated with my coloniser heritage, and female empowerment.

I prefer to use materials that are as natural and connected to country as possible. For example, when the season is right I forage bullrushes for weaving fibres, and use ochre from country to colour canvases laid within the landscape.

Samuel Chen

Samuel Chen is a creative practitioner and filmmaker, specialising in wildlife cinematography. With a background in environmental management and science communication, Samuel seeks to bring curiosity, feeling and intimacy to the space between people and the environment.

Dominique Chen

Dominique Chen is a Gamilaroi yinnar and interdisciplinary, arts-based researcher living on Jinibara County in South-East Queensland. She is currently undertaking doctoral study at the University of Technology Sydney, exploring the intersections between relational art and urban-based, Aboriginal cultural food growing.

Tor Maclean

Tor Maclean is an artist living and working in Jinibara Country. Her practice is a quiet reflection on the embedded histories and stories of materials and objects and is respectful of cross cultural references and the politics of place. Working across installation, video and drawing, Tor extrapolates these embedded histories through gestational processes that change and transform them. Tor has exhibited throughout Australia and studied a Bachelor of Fine Art at QCA and completed her honours at the University of Tasmania (2013).


Nexus Arts acknowledges the Kaurna people as the owners of the land where we live, learn, and work. We respect their culture and elders and acknowledge their sovereignty was never ceded. We recognise that visual arts, music and storytelling have been central to Aboriginal cultures for over 60,000 years. We work to support this lineage.

This exhibition was created as part of an initiative supported by Inspiring SA.