Banner Series

Colouring Memory
Dennis Golding

15 Dec 2023 – 7 Mar 2024

Above: Exterior of Artspace in The Gunnery, featuring new commission by Dennis Golding, Colouring Memory, 2023. Photo: Katherine Lu
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

For Artspace’s inaugural Banner Series, Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding has created a new work inspired by his childhood and urban upbringing in Sydney. The artist grew up in Redfern where, like Woolloomooloo, detailed iron lacework adorns the fences and balconies of the Victorian-era terrace homes in the area.  

One side of Colouring Memory shows an original lacework panel, a vestige of Australia’s colonial history and the imported trade of iron-mongering. In his broader practice, Golding has adapted the structural form of these panels to reference the tradition of First Nations shield-making, often etched with totemic figures and landscapes.  

On the opposite side, the artist has fashioned a contemporary motif that reveals his background in graphic design. Golding’s colourful floral shield deliberately alludes to European ideas of heraldry, but is overlaid with Indigenous Australian plants including Gymea lily, lilly pillies, eucalypt, banksia and flannel flower. Plant life evokes memories of place, home and Country. Indeed, Golding’s Grandfather’s Country in north-western New South Wales means ‘place of many flowers’ in Gamilaraay – Galarinabaray (Collarenebri). His floral intervention speaks to traditional owners of Country and their ongoing connection to land and culture. Here Golding asserts Indigenous history and knowledge, metaphorically (and artistically) dismantling the fence – a colonial imposition that implies ownership and separation.  

As a young child, the artist often watched his mother and grandmother paint Australian native plants and animals on large canvas and sheen fabrics. Colouring Memory echoes and honours their artmaking and the cultural knowledge passed on through the act of creation. 

Since graduating from UNSW Art & Design in 2019, Golding was awarded the 2020 NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship and has exhibited at major institutions including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Living Museums, and Carriageworks, Sydney. His work can also be seen in numerous public art installations around Sydney. Golding is a co-founder of the Re-Right Collective with artist Carmen Glynn-Braun.


Public Program


Artspace opening celebrations

Fri 15 Dec and Sat 16 Dec 2023

Supported by Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron