2019
HD video 8mins
edition of 5 + 1AP
Artist Statement
At the centre of the frame in Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act is a eucalyptus that was sculpted into a new form by the State Mine Fire, which in 2013 tore across the Newnes Plateau and devastated the bushland near the artist’s home.
As the forest regenerates the artist performs a ritual, sculpting with a light-filled net, unravelling memory to envision a future with a poetic conjuring of the past to the present. It is a tender and ephemeral process in which the tree is a silent collaborator. Ambient sounds in the forest combine with audio of the artist’s hands tracing and touching the burned tree and surrounding vegetation. Light and memory are layered with the resonance of a forest that is crushed and disintegrating as the artist’s work is done and undone.
In this act of tending and undoing the artist explores new forms of human engagement with the environment and exposes the vulnerability of humans in a collapsing world. This artwork is a meditation on the fragility of this interconnectedness. In December 2019 another firestorm, sparked by the Gospers Mountain fire, threatened the artist’s community and home. In May 2020 she returned to the tree to find it had gone and all the surrounding forest was ash.
Exhibitions
2020 Today I, Tomorrow You curated by Sam Dignand, Art Not Apart Festival, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra
2019 Here and Not Here curated Dr Andrew Frost, Cementa19 Contemporary Arts Festival, Kandos
Here and Not Here explores the contemporary condition of the regions through the work of artists who not only live there, but whose work focuses on the history and culture of regional places. Through the work of seven artists who live in the Mid West and Central West of NSW, the project looks at how history is under a constant state of erasure, from the changing environment, to the slow decay of historic sites and towns, to the slow forgetting of cultures, languages and place.
Publications
2020 Randall, Jonny. Waiting in the Dark The Picture Show at the End of the World, Dark Mountain Project
2020 Du Cann, C; Chapman, C; Inglenook, N; Robertson, E; Wheeler, S:(Editors) Dark Mountain #17 Spring Restoration Photographer Unknown Editorial viii; Sculpting in the Pyrocene: A Disappearing Act c2-3