2021 Counterpoint exhibition, Stala Contemporary, West Perth, Western Australia
The coastline of Western Australia is fringed by beach spinifex. Dried branches, polished by the waves, can be found along the dunes. I have used these branches combined with other found materials as counterpoints to offer a visual metaphor for the story of colonisation in Western Australia.
Broken ceramics collected on the beach, also polished by the ocean, are signs of the early European settlers’ domestic life. Chains, shackles and breastplate symbolise the effect of colonisation on the indigenous population – imprisoned, enslaved and murdered. Broken jarrah wood pieces tell the story of the landscape being fragmented and dismantled by the settlers. In the necklace Francaustralian 2, the original form of the landscape before colonisation is symbolised by the two half circles that represent the shape of the original circular ring of wood before I broke it into the pieces used in the necklace.
In this series of works I have explored an innovative hybridised technique of fusing gold foil onto wood using Balga tree sap. In this I was inspired by the Noongar glue for tool making.
Indigenous people are the custodians of this land that was never ceded. It always was and always will be Aboriginal land.