Maddison Gibbs is a proud Gunu Baakandji woman who grew up in Dubbo, NSW. She currently lives and works between Sydney and Kandos, NSW. Both artist and activist, Maddison Gibbs practice examines dual histories – focusing on stories of past and present Aboriginal societies and spirit. A multidisciplinary artist, Gibbs works across a wide spectrum of cultural praxis, utilising many methods and ideologies.

Something in the Water focuses on the detrimental effect of the Menindee Fish Kills that have occurred over the past few years and most recently in March of this year. Water is a universal life force, it sustains all living creatures – big and small, sentient or not. Access to clean water is a universal right; it is the Australian government’s responsibility to ensure this is maintained. The Menindee fish kills of the past few years is evidence of failings in this area. No river should smell like death, and yet the Darling-Baarka has experienced grief more than once. Gunu Barkandji artist Maddison Gibbs calls to attention the horror and shock of the Menindee fish kills. The Cube transforms into a memorial space for the fish that have been killed. The black room evokes the toxic run off that killed 20 million fish this year in March, with fish forms that cover the whole space. Their oscillating shapes are a gentle reminder of Western Desert art. They cover the entire surface, encouraging the viewer to sit in this reflective grief, to mourn this collective loss.  


Curated by Kelly McDonald and Althea Kuzman



image: Maddison Gibbs, Something in the Water, 2023, installation, exterior acrylic polymer paint, leaves, acrylic spray paint, stereo sound, approx. 2.05 mins (sound engineer Greg Le Couter), image courtesy and © the artist.

Saturday 17 June - Sunday 10 September

The Cube, Level 1, Mosman Art Gallery