Powerhouse Parramatta and the Cité internationale des arts have formally announced the two recipients of their joint galang residency program for 2024, including SJB’s First Nations Lead Architect Jack Gillmer (left) and artist Jody Rallah (right).

The three-month residency, located in Paris, supports Australian First Nations creative practitioners. The second edition of the residency saw a suite of applicants from across the country express their interest within the residency.

Gillmer’s role at SJB sees him explore Country as the driving narrative of his design practice. Through advocating and facilitating First Nations leadership and collaboration, his approach explores tangible and intangible paradigms, negotiates multi sensory outcomes and reveals latent knowledge embedded in Country.

During his residency in July, Gillmer plans to investigate display and treatment of Indigenous artefacts and collection, reckoning with the colonial history of museology and the future of cultural material acquisition and exhibition. Gillmer hopes to open restitution conversations between institutions and to ‘decolonise’ museology via a framework that will give agency back to First Nations people.

“It feels surreal! I’m ecstatic, encouraged, and positively assertive,” says Gillmer when quizzed about the opportunity. 

“The residency provides support to continue exploration of my personal and professional drivers, giving agency, opportunity and voice to Traditional Custodians in areas that are inherently colonial. Using architecture as a medium of investigation, I’m excited to see the potential this will have on defining an approach to architecture and museology to indigenise practices.”

Jody Rallah’s May residency will enhance her creative practice by deepening her understanding of how the built environment, architecture and curated recreational spaces can be used to facilitate cultural preservation.

“I feel overwhelmingly grateful to have this incredible opportunity to undertake this research with the galang residency,” she says. 

“This opportunity means that I can learn more about how tactile languages (such as Braille) can provide insight into haptic art-making processes that can affect resurgent art and cultural practices in my communities and how this can be applied in immersive art experiences.”

Powerhouse Chief Executive, Lisa Havilah says she is excited by the potential outcomes of both Gillmer and Rallah’s residencies.

“The high calibre of submissions we received for the second iteration of the galang residency highlights the incredible talent of Australia’s First Nations creative practitioners,” she says. 

“We are looking forward to seeing the outcomes of Jack Gillmer and Jody Rallah’s projects, which will redefine the cultural sector.”