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Undertow 2022

Amanda Bell

Born 1965, Whadjuk Country, Western Australia

Lives and works Undalup | Busselton, Wardandi Nyoongar Boodja, Western Australia

Badimia (Yamatji) and Yued (Nyoongar) Peoples, Western Australia


Balak (Naked), 2022

glass neon, LED lights, sound, yongka (kangaroo) bones, salt, sand, tea, flour, sugar, dried flowers, synthetic polymer paint.


Amanda Bell’s newly commissioned work Balak (Naked), 2022, approaches the themes of wardan or oceans through a lens of personal and collective trauma. In this installation Bell unites neon glass, audio, written word, salt, flour, sugar, tea and collected yongka (kangaroo) bones painted with marri gum, to create a work that explores the experiences of First Nations people during colonial invasion and dispossession, inflicted by the British in their strategic assault and takeover of this continent.


The words ‘our silence is full of rage’ are etched in light as if scratched into the very wall. They cast a haunting glow across the gallery, as if it were blood-soaked, and speak to the silence she has encountered when talking about colonial and recent atrocities with her Elders. Bell reminds us that these silences are not empty spaces, but instead they are spaces of deep anger and immense sorrow. This work asserts that silence is not always powerless, that a lot can be said, conveyed and felt in responses of silence.

visit FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre

Open 9am–5pm, 7 days


1 Finnerty Street
Western Australia