Interview between Danni Zuvela, guest curator of WATER RITES (24 September – 20 November 2021) and artist Sandra Saunders.

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Sandra Saunders is a Ngarrindjeri artist and activist. She played a major role in the protesting over the Hindmarsh Island Bridge controversy. The construction of the bridge drew national attention when some island landowners and some of the local Aboriginal people objected to its construction. Through her paintings, Saunders communicates historic narratives and continued resistance to colonisation. Saunders is a sculptor and painter using mixed media. Her works from the Hindmarsh Island series include the media of acrylic, satin, jewels, beads, papier mache, brocade and lace on hardboard. This series of thirty-two paintings tells Saunders’ version of the events of the Hindmarsh Island affair. She has exhibited alongside Muriel Van Der Byl in the exhibition From Scrap to Art at the Austral Hotel in Adelaide in 1998 and again in 2002 in the exhibition Where To Now? at Synagogue Place in Adelaide. She had a solo show Kumarangk: The Hindmarsh Island Collection at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in 2004. In 2017 she presented They Came like a Tsunami at ACE Across, in 2019 she participated in the Tarnanthi festival at the Art Gallery of South Australia and in 2020 Sandra’s work was featured in the ACE Open South Australian artist survey, If the future is to be worth anything.