Changing Tides: Waters of the Past Belconnen Arts Centre, 2017

Artist Statement 2017

My work over the past twenty years has oscillated between a number of recurring themes: ideas related to place and the landscape, cultural identity, consumption, memory, history and materiality.

I am interested in the fragility of the landscape we take for granted in our everyday lives and our part within in it. Through our 21c lifestyles we are having a significant impact on the natural world around us. By an acknowledgement of the land, of history and memory, I seek to bring a mindfulness to how we view and inhabit the natural world on many levels.

As an artist, the use of readily available, every day objects and materials has always played a role in my work. The material objects that I create are often generic, constructed simply and easily transportable. It is this idea of ‘transportable’ objects that triggered my interest in creating Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) elements in exhibitions and publications. I am interested in using ubiquitous technologies. For example, many of my videos and photographs are taken with my Internet enabled mobile phone, with minimal enhancements.

My work also explores the use of environmental data, renewable energy and recycled materials to make links between the issues in the work and their material form.

Other ways of encountering the landscape, through walking and quiet observation have also been a significant source of inspiration and contemplation. These humble walks have not only been a source of rich imagery and play, they have also been a way of balancing the hectic pace of modern life. We are overstimulated by technology, consumerism, and processed food. Sometimes it is important just to take a moment and step back from this hectic space into the realms of possibility – of daydreams and meditation. This is how we restore our energies and ability to manage in this busy world.

The theme of restoration is captured beautifully by conservationist Rachel Carson in this quote, located at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve as a plank in the wetlands walkway.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Carson’s words speak much about our human need to take a moment to contemplate and reflect on the manifest beauties of our earth, recognising that our acknowledgement of the earth gives us the strength to endure.

My intention as an artist is to explore how we can be more awake and aware of our own footsteps. By acknowledging the past we can learn and move into the future with intent and respect.