CLUES & TRACES
Sep 4 – Sep 29
Official opening Wednesday 4 September, 5:30 pm
Clues & Traces
Ink, watercolour, pigment on various papers, monoprint
This work is a response to my wanderings around Lake Hawthorn and Lake Ranfurly. Picking up clues and finding traces of the history under my feet, as well as enjoying the strange beauty of the lakes as they are now.
The lakes Hawthorn and Ranfurly, like most of the lake and billabong complexes close to this part of the Murray River, were originally part of a natural wetland flood plain, an area connected to the river during high flows.
In the old days people lived, hunted, fished, rested and enjoyed life, on the edges of these wetlands. This was a quiet peaceful place with abundant bird and fish life, and variety of plant foods.
With the introduction of large-scale horticulture to the area came the building of levee banks and other means of ‘managing’ the river in order to water vines, citrus and vegetables. The resulting irrigation run-off contributed to what Lake Hawthorn/Ranfurly has become today, a saline wetland and an urban drainage basin.
In creating this work, I have used many different types of paper and in many cases have worked back over old prints and drawings to give them new life. Scraps and offcuts of paper have been dyed with rust, soil, pigments and inks, and some show the traces of old drawings and prints.
Good paper is a very strong and resilient medium. I re-use the paper to create the feeling of layers of years, ages, the uses and misuses of the land; the changes, alterations, adaptations of the land the life that depends on it. My other reason for re-using paper where possible, is in the interest of recycling and to follow my commitment to using what is already in the world rather than buying new things.