Barka-Darling, weir 32, Barkandji country. Locals have installed an oxygenating water pump in efforts to rescue dwindling fish populations.
Barka-Darling, weir 32, Barkandji country. Locals have installed an oxygenating water pump in efforts to rescue dwindling fish populations.
Still from 'Darling Darling' by Gabriella Hirst, Barka-Darling, weir 32, Barkandji country

ACMI & the Ian Potter Cultural Trust present

Gabriella Hirst: Darling Darling

The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission 2020



18 Feb – 9 June 2021

A timely investigation into the nature of care and neglect.

Gabriella Hirst's two-channel video art piece, Darling Darling, presents two contrasting visions of the Barka Darling River in dialogue with each other: the detailed work by art conservators to restore the 19th century painting, The flood in the Darling, 1890, by WC Piguenit, and the environmental crisis facing the river today.

Commissioning partner

About the Commission

Australia's most significant commission for moving image art, the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission (IPMIC) is an initiative of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and ACMI. The Commission provides $100,000 from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust as well as specialised curatorial, production and presentation expertise to an Australian artist. Each commissioned work will also be accessioned into the ACMI Collection, sitting alongside works by major Australian and international artists.

About the Ian Potter Cultural Trust

Established in 1993 by The Ian Potter Foundation to encourage and support the diversity and excellence of emerging and early career Australian artists.


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About Gabriella Hirst

Gabriella Hirst (she/her) was born and grew up on Cammeraygal land (Australia) and is currently living between Berlin and London. She works primarily with moving image, performance, and with the garden as a site of critique and care. Gabriella's practice and research explores connections between various manifestations of capture and control – spanning plant taxonomies, landscape painting, art conservation and nuclear history.

Gabriella Hirst

Learn more about the work

Acknowledgement of Country

Darling Darling was filmed at various locations on Barkandji Country, with the guidance of Elder Uncle Badger Bates, and depicts the land and waterways of the Barkandji people. Sections were also filmed at the Art Gallery of NSW, which is located on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Additional work was conducted on the land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. ACMI and the artist acknowledge the Traditional Owners upon whose unceded land this work was realised, pay respect to their Elders past and present and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.

All references to ‘Australia’ in this exhibition refer to the continental conglomeration of over 500 different Indigenous Nation – unceded, stolen land.


Producer: Bridget Ikin
DoP Barka-Darling River: Meg White
DoP AGNSW: Justine Kerrigan
Film editor: Sam Smith
Sound recordist: Daniel Miau
Sound editor: Liam Egan
Barkandji consultant: Uncle Badger Bates
Regional liaison/location manager: Justine Muller
Production coordinator: Mia Timpano
Production assistant: Lesley Holland
Videographer AGNSW: Christopher Snee
Camera assistant: Cameron Dunlop

Sections of the work were filmed by permission at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in close collaboration with Conservators Paula Dredge, AGNSW Head of Painting Conservation, Andrea Nottage, Painting Conservator and Barbara Dabrowa, AGNSW Senior Conservator of Fine Arts – Frames.

Past Ian Potter Moving Image Commissions

Other ACMI exhibitions

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