one last visit: Ever Present

Happy Place, Happy Space

Over the summer, we made several visits to the National Gallery of Singapore to immerse ourselves in Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia, one of the most captivating exhibitions and engaging curations of art I’ve experienced.

This week, Older Child and I made one final visit before the exhibition closes.

We noticed that they made it free to all visitors in these final days.

We spent time with our favourite pieces, and engaged with some others we had paid little notice to before.

Gallery of batiks, the collaboration on the right is titled Cahaya (Light), the one on the left is Untitled. Older Child is visiting with a carved painted wooden water buffalo.

Sharing with you now my absolute favourite work: Berceuse (2017), a 3-channel video installation by Christian Thompson.

In Berceuse, titled from French word for lullaby, Christian Thompson performs a gesture of a re-imagining his traditional language Bidjara, a language now categorised as extinct.

The work is premised on a notion, that if one word of Bidjara is spoken, in this case, in the form of song, it is a living language echoed powerfully in the gallery context. Combining evocative chanting and electronic elements, Thompson invokes the cultural experiences and narrative of his Bidjara culture.

… Thompson seeks to allow a sensory experience of language through the vocal textures he creates via the sole use of his voice and simultaneously evokes the textures of the Australian landscape via gentle silhouette forms. Berceuse draws the audience into a space in time, a hypnotic melody that transcends space and time whilst being powerfully connected to the contemporary present.

Michael Reid

I was fascinated, haunted, moved. It was a work that reached out to me each time I visited. Happily, I found a youtube video of the installation:

“Berceuse” (2017),Christian Thompson

Reading your Joyful Posts brings me to my happy place. I hope having them in one place makes it easier for you to find when you need a bit of happy therapy, too.

If you would like to join in Happy Place, Happy Space, ping back to this post and I will include you next week.

This post in my contribution to


    1. Older Child (who is a linguist by training) and I have talked at great length about lullabies across cultures – how many of them have an element of darkness to them. Perhaps it addresses the varying amounts of fear children have of bedtime.


  1. Thank you for bringing us back to Ever Present and for sharing such powerful works with us. (The feature photo with Older Child and the batiks is exquisite. I could look at those textile arts for a long time…)

    Thompson’s piece is so evocative and mesmerizing. He will speak Bidjara into infinity. That’s beautiful.

    And thank you for mentioning my blog!


    1. So glad to have you along for this final visit!
      I love textile arts too – and I do remember you are very taken by them 🙂
      And I am so fascinated by your thought that Bidjara will persist into infinity, if only by this work alone. It is both haunting as well as comforting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I was delightedly surprised to find it on youtube – I very much wanted to share it in this space. Although you can imagine it was a very different experience for me watching/listening to it projected & played in large room with great acoustics!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt that way too … too many things going away. Doesn’t he such a fabulous voice? and the way it resounds and creates textures – goosebumps! especially when they projected this on a huge wall and the music played in a large space with fantastic acoutics.

      Liked by 1 person

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