As I grow older my desire to be on the land physically has driven my decision to take my children ‘home’ to the farm and is now driving my art. My beloved family farm has a mining exploration lease hanging over it.
My art is informed by my family history, my reading of indigenous and colonial Australian history and my own experience and knowledge of the land and the natural environment. My family stories include dislocation through immigration after WWII. And the early colonial settlement of Caboolture and Glasshouse where Indigenous people helped some of my forebears develop land for agriculture. I am a bower bird when it comes to people’s stories as I believe personal histories should be remembered, re-told and learned from.
In Australia we have a culture of forgetting – I want to challenge this culture with my art.
My time on Bimblebox has been a precious gift where I was able to experience a place rare and endangered while attempting to capture something of its nature in my artwork. While on Bimblebox I explored its vegetation, land-shapes, tracks, soils, seeds and grasses. I continue to think about its past and its future. I collected seeds, leaves and objects for reference and to develop sculptural pieces back in the studio. I collected plant materials and explored their dye qualities on recycled fabrics from Australia’s manufacturing past and new fabrics from China’s manufacturing present. I have sewn these together…
Through making work that incorporates elements of Bimblebox Nature Refuge and considering its possible fate, I am exploring historical references to the land and what is offered or received for a piece of land. The ability of one person to see the land as providing everything that is needed to survive physically, culturally, and emotionally, to another who sees the land as expendable – for profit at any cost. Through plants and blankets I am looking for a way to understand where the past fits into the present and how history contains stories and lessons that few are listening to.