A Haunting is situated on the Castlereagh highway, just outside Armatree, New South Wales, within Wailwan country. The work, which the artist describes as a “lighted vigil”, utilises a rundown 1920s house to invoke issues around settlement, domesticity, landscape and the worldwide pandemic. Moffatt has said that A Haunting can also “read like a crime scene”

A small dark farmhouse with an eerie red glow.

A Haunting is an art installation to be visited alone at night.

Situated north of Gilgandra on the Castlereagh Highway just before the Armatree Rd turnoff, Armatree NSW Australia

The house is to be viewed from a near distance, from the property fence beside the highway.

No visitors to venture inside the yard or the driveway of the house or into the front door, which bleeds red light.

There is nothing to see inside the house anyway – just a red void

The installation is cold silent but the night is sometimes punctuated with the sound of crickets, screeching galah birds and passing pick-up trucks.

Date of installation late 2021 – to late 2023. Or for infinity.

Concept: A Haunting wants to play with our night time-attuned receptors, when our ears check the sound of a twig snapping.

When our eyes register dark shapes that seem to cross our periphery.

A Haunting can read like a real-life nightmare that gleams from windows out into the darkness of Australia’s great and vast interior.

The 1920s-built house sits on confiscated lands of the Wailwan peoples and other nearby language groups and radiates as if like a dark bloody history that speaks of Colonial settlement and of Indigenous skirmishes with pastoralists.

But passing folk might initially view A Haunting in other ways

The lights can read as frenetic like in an emergency as if coming from an Ambulance or a Police light. Like as if some forensic crime photographers are at work inside the house – processing the aftermath of a crime. The house sits like an agitated photo darkroom.

Or even a lonesome bordello completely empty with no customers.

“they moved the highway……..nobody ever stops here anymore”
(Norman Bates, Psycho 1960)
The house can read as well like a welcoming Lighthouse spilling beams across a dark grass sea.
Our world now in 2021 and into 2022 is suffering from a Global pandemic thus unhinging us so that we might more than ever look out for reassurance and guidance. We may seek the ‘familiar’ and the warmth of hearth and home.
Like the beautiful ancient stone Axe found in the grass nearby, we can think of enduring cultures.
The little house as well is enduring with it rhythmic beacons pulsing life out into the dark.
I wish for my installation A Haunting to flow and run for infinity like an eternal flame.

....................................

END NOTE: Recently the house owner / sheep farmer showed me a beautiful Indigenous stone Axe head he had found in the field around the house. He had kicked his toe on it and stooped to pick it up.
I admired at how comfortable the old Axe head was to hold in my hand. I felt its solidity – like something unbroken and forever.

—Tracey Moffatt, Armatree, November 2021.



Internationally acclaimed Australian artist Tracey Moffatt has created a new site-specific art installation entitled A Haunting which is an abandoned farm house that pulses red light.


A Haunting is situated on the Castlereagh highway, just outside Armatree, New South Wales, within Wailwan country. The work, which the artist describes as a “lighted vigil”, utilises a rundown 1920s house to invoke issues around settlement, domesticity, landscape and the worldwide pandemic. Moffatt has said that A Haunting can also
“read like a crime scene”.

Moffatt developed this artwork prior to lockdown when only travel to regional areas was possible. The artist sought to create a work that encouraged people to travel inland rather than to the edges or beyond. Working with the local community to realise the work, the artist’s commitment to its placement within the region will see it displayed for the next two years. It was produced in collaboration with Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo.


Western Plains Cultural Centre Curator, Kent Buchanan, said the work is “a prescient intervention in the contested Australian bush”, and that it engages with “the ubiquitous remnants of the past that are scattered, abandoned amongst the landscape, like rural monuments to success and failure.”

The artwork is a gift from the artist to the world, as “a beacon of hope during challenging times”. Conversely, the work acknowledges the difficult history of European colonisation in Australia, and the ongoing debates around land, sovereignty and culture.

“A Haunting is a house with a rhythmic heartbeat and it burns red. It sits campfire-like and honours First Nations peoples on whose land it sits.” – Tracey Moffatt.

The artwork can be viewed from 6pm to 6am each night, and is a one hour drive north of Dubbo on the Castlereagh highway. The house is very visible and is on the left hand side, just before the Armatree Road turn off.

The artwork sits on private property called Sunnyside and viewers are requested to remain outside the property gates. For those wishing to travel to view the work it can be found via the following Google map coordinates:
31°27'01.8"S 148°30'27.3"E

As of May 2024 this installation at Armatree NSW has finished.

Hide Exhibition Text