Front gallery

Catalogue text by Samantha Comte

Heritage Colours was a site-specific installation that reflected upon the indigenous heritage of Fitzroy. Aboriginal artist Clinton Nain superimposed transparencies of iron lace onto the window of the Front Gallery, through which visitors and passers-by could glimpse a floor covered in mud, scattered with found domestic objects collected from the surrounding area. Framed against the black wall was a giant colour chart of 'heritage colours' the term used for colours associated with Victorian architecture. Defying white Australia's impulse to catalogue and contain the past, Nain encouraged the viewer to ask whose heritage these colours reflect and what alternate histories might be hidden behind the ornate facades lining Fitzroy's streets. Heritage Colours revealed a multi-layered landscape that reflected a diversity of heritages and the encounter between indigenous and European cultures.