Do Brumbies Dream in Red?

National Exhibition Register

  • A Mare in the Grass
    Tom Goldner A Mare in the Grass, 2020
    Pigment ink-jet print
    75.0 x 95.0 cm
    Image Credit
    © Tom Goldner

About the exhibition

Do Brumbies Dream in Red? is a story of ecological collapse told through the 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season and the Snowy Mountain brumby, an Australian feral wild-roaming horse. Brumbies are now increasingly seen as destructive force on the Australian environment. Their hooves destroy delicate ecosystems and their faeces contaminate critical water systems, yet they are also recognised by some as a part of Australia’s cultural identity.

Fire’s role too has shifted, from a tool and a harbinger of safety to something beyond our our control and destructive. As human influence over the environment intensified, summers become hotter, droughts last for longer and species once seen as useful become invasive. There are no images of fire included in this project as this work is not about the momentary drama of flames, but about cyclical lockstep and what is left in wake.

The title itself is a proposition; Horses render the world in blues and greens, asking if they dream in red is an invitation to re-imagine the world as it appeared while suffused in the red glow of the bushfires.The research is underpinned by the work of English professor Timothy Morton and his theories on ‘ecological awareness’ in Dark Ecology (2016), which examine the intersection of places, scales and nonhuman interrelations. Running parallel to these ideas are those of American professor Donna Haraway’s most recent book, Staying with the Trouble (2016). Her concept of the ‘Chthulucene’ strives to capture a future in which all things in the world are connected, coexist and, in many cases, ‘collaborate’, and through this, we learn to ‘live and die well together’ and achieve a kind of ‘ongoingness’. The visual outcomes are intertwined and are driven by a series of colour film photographs and moving images made in creative collaboration with cinematographer Angus Scott and audio engineer Sean Kenihan.

The series was exhibited in February 2021 at Meat Market Stables (North Melbourne) as part of the PHOTO 2021 festival. Along with the exhibition, the project culminates in a 120 page, 33 x 26cm large-format photo book (edition of 1000). The black artboard cover features a tipped on graphic artist by Katherina Rodrigues and comes with a concertina text insert featuring a poem by Dr Judith Nangala Crispin.

Artists and Curator

Tom Goldner

Tom Goldner - Photography & Art Direction Angus Scott - Moving Image Sound - Sean Kenihan Colourist - CJ Dobson Poetry - Dr Judith Nangala Crispin

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/01/2022 - 01/01/2033
Exhibition size
Between 75-100 sq or running metres
Originating state
$20,000 (inc. freight) - Contact to discuss
Web Site
Primary contact
Tom Goldner
Creative Director
I acknowledge the sovereignty of the Indigenous Nations of Australia. I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people, the traditional custodians of the land on which I live, and I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and future.