Sasha Parlett: The Valley

26 August

September 22, 2022

Outer Space

Sasha Parlett’s The Valley (2022) features a living, breathing Buderim rainforest on Kabi Kabi country. Alternating between the macro and the micro, the mindful lens of photographer and filmmaker Sasha Parlett demonstrates her connection to country and appreciation of the many facets of its most life-nurturing element:

“Water is a big part of many Dreamtime stories and can have a huge significance in culture. For me, I love the way that freshwater and saltwater can exist so closely to one another, and that some countries have both. My family are Barkindji and Malyangapa. Barkindji people come from the Baaka (the Darling River). I have a big love for both Kabi Kabi and Jinabarra country as I was raised and educated in this area. The nature is so vast with beautiful oceans on the coast line and a hinterland full of waterfalls. Buderim holds a lot of memories for me as a child. We would venture out for the day to climb the trees and rocks and play in the water.”

The Valley features dancer and choreographer Sheriden Newman leaping rhythmically across and around a low-set waterfall, which foregrounds the diverse foliage of the rainforest’s canopy. Describing her connection to dance, Parlett explains: “[It] started when I was in primary school – some local TO’s [Traditional Owners] taught me traditional First Nations totem dancing. From there I have made it my goal to learn dancing in many countries I have travelled to. Dance shares so many stories and can evoke such creativity and emotion. I taught modern dance through my twenties and still practice dance today.

My goal is to continue working within communities with our local knowledge holders to create site-specific works that uncover the deep rich histories of the country.”

Sasha Parlett is the proud descendant of May Hunt (the first Indigenous woman to break in horses), born on Darumbal country and educated and raised in Kabi Kabi ways. She fondly remembers her Nanna telling her that her blonde hair was due to the family running low on ochre before she was born. Parlett’s body of work includes the award-winning film Fallen (2019) (director, producer); THUMP’s music video Shake It (writer, producer, editor), which was awarded a yewwy in the inaugural Sunny Coast Showdown; Barrumbi Kids (attachment editor), produced by NITV and Screen Australia; and the 2022 documentary We Are One (director, currently in production), whose aim is to educate people on the stories of the First XI and shed light on cricketing for mob in Australia. Sasha holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries from the University of the Sunshine Coast. When not working on film projects or photographing, she can be found in the local community planning and organising Wan’diny NAIDOC events.

 

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