The Billboard Project, Niddrie is a series of large format photographic billboards that create unexpected public galleries in and around the Keilor Road Shops in Niddrie.
The locations can be discovered around Wallace Mall, and they connect to the billboard in the front garden of the Incinerator Gallery. The Billboard Project is an initiative of the Incinerator Gallery and the Moonee Valley City Council. and will be on display from 1 October 2018 – 21st January 2019.
Born in Bombay, Rhett D’Costa migrated to Australia at an early age and spent his childhood in Niddrie and Flemington. D’Costa’s career spans more than 28 years practicing as an artist and working in tertiary arts education. His most recent projects have centered on the ‘right to belong’, exploring the role of resilience and optimism in the intersecting areas of migration, identity, nationalism and place.
All four images exhibited across Niddrie and the Incinerator Gallery include figures dressed in garments relating either to English country squires or Indians. As a mixed race Anglo Indian, D’Costa is acutely aware of the role that dress code can play in identifying our sense of belonging.
Three of the photographs were taken at the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, located within the country of the Jarra people. It is the largest non-indigeneous protected cultural landscape in Australia and plays an important role in australia’s migration history. By incorporating these figures into this landscape, D’costa attempts to carve out an inclusive space in the Australian bush as a site of belonging for the contemporary migrant.