Hospicing William Light

Hospicing William Light

Hospicing William Light

Opening 1 August 2023 | SALA Festival 2023

On Sunday October the 6th 1839, Colonel William Light died. He remains the only colonial invader to be buried under the City of Adelaide and rests in a grave where his memorial currently stands on Wauwi/Light Square.

Sasha Grbich’s new solo exhibition, Hospicing William Light, approaches South Australia’s first Surveyor-General as an unquiet ghost whose lingering spirit needs to be released. Grbich uses methods of hospicing to suggest a process of sensitively exorcising colonial ancestors and moving on from the ways of knowing the world that their memorialisation perpetuates. 

This exhibition of new work is a video installation incorporating new and archival 16mm film, responses to material from the City of Adelaide and State Library archives, and sound and performance by choir ‘Choral Grief’. The key archive for the work is Colonial Light’s Last Diary (1839) in which he recorded the final year of his life. In this remarkable document, Light faithfully recorded the weather alongside descriptions of his deteriorating health. The installation notionally enters the final month of his life, between the date he can no longer write and the date he dies.

This new work is a gentle contemplation of death, legacy, weather and moving on.

This work has been generously supported by Arts South Australia.

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Adelaide Central Gallery

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We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of country throughout Australia and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, water and community.

We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the elders past, present and emerging.