Djinjama: Defying the Grid
Responding to the provocation of the 2019 DESIGN Canberra theme Utopia, artists Danièle Hromek, Robyn Hromek, and Siân Hromek create an installation which uses the form of woven net to break the grids of Canberra’s Civic Square through a filter of culture. Architectural grids cut across the fluid lines of Country and nebulous boundaries of Aboriginal nations. Their installation, weaves together ideas of the grid and urbanity using ancient techniques and designs passed onto them from their family to form a net – a type of micro grid of detailed spaces. Djinjama refers to making, producing or building something in Dhurga. The work questions the architectural quest for ‘Utopia’ – asserting what may be utopic for one could be dystopic to another.
Robyn, Siân and Danièle, are Budawang women of the Yuin nation. As part of a wider family network they work to reclaim and develop their cultural practices, including creating woven pieces. Their work often responds to their experiences on Country, both in the countryside and the city, and how these different relationships with Country affect their practices. Their work also includes narratives of family, and tells the stories carried through the generations of love, loss, colonisation and resilience. Robyn is Danièle and Siân’s mother. Outside of their explorations with fibres, Siân works in land management including cultural burning, Danièle is a researcher in spatial disciplines and Indigeneity, while Robyn is a school counsellor and lecturer.