Through contemporary approaches to photography, Hayley Millar-Baker draws strength from her Gunditjmara bloodlines, history and the landscape, confronting and crafting past, present and future stories of south-eastern Aboriginal existence, and honouring the connectedness of intergenerational experiences of Aboriginality. Millar-Baker’s works draw from her grandfather’s archive, family albums and images of her own moments captured on and off Country. By meticulously layering, cutting and repositioning imagery, she depicts a coexistence of times, of cultures and of transformation. A Series of Unwarranted Events portrays four stories of the Gunditjmara people that expose frontier violence during colonisation. Stories of skulls nailed to doorways and rivers running red, serve as a haunting reminder of a past unforgivable, and as witness to the strength and resilience of the Gunditjmara people.
Millar-Baker aligns disparate times and places – melding as one the collected imagery from her extensive archive – to tell alternative stories and histories. Millar-Baker’s reflective narrative process enacts a powerful social commentary that acknowledges the strength and resilience of Aboriginal Australia, reimagines what could have been, and reveals the complexities of Aboriginality now.