Australia – Part 1, BigCi Artist Residency, NSW, Australia, 2019

This participatory outdoor installation reflects on my first-time visit to the Australian continent and first-time exploration of Australian specific flora and fauna, landscape and star constellations as well as study of dynamic aboriginal life philosophies, as well as the history of European penetration of the land.

It was my goal with this project to use materials that nature could provide. I folded 105 vessels with a star-shaped top. The pieces were folded in 3 different sizes, using semi-transparent tracing paper that I treated with shades of brown ink extracted from the barks of various local coniferous trees. The bottom of each vessel was sealed with beeswax from a local beekeeper. Each vessel held several pieces of bark within it. The vessels were later floated in a man-made water storage pond. (see Australia – Part 2)

At the time of my visit (Australian summer) several species of trees shed their bark and I collected smaller and larger pieces – especially those that showed markings of insect activity on their outer skin – often resembling abstract drawing. I handwrote short pieces of text in the inside with dark brown ink. The texts were single words and very short sentences that expressed my first-hand experiences and explorations in this “new world”.

The photos in Part 1 of the project show the studio installation of the progression of the installation components, including the line-up of vessels and bark pieces in the studio prior to the floating of the vessels.