Now into my second week here, I feel like I have moved from the position of witness to more active engagement in the field. Where before perhaps I was wading around things, I have now arrived at a point of immersion, walking up rivers that feed the dam, and collecting samples of clay to start working with.
On the river walks, I carry copper plates in my backpack. These plates are scratched and marked through the act of walking, storing journey and temporal passage, and will make up a series of Field Recordings unique to my time at Bogong Village. These plates play at the notion of creation and erasure of stories and memories, something that seems mirrored in the atmosphere here, and speaks to notions of the thematic of the residency, Phantasmagoria.
As someone who works with earth, clay and water, being here has allowed me an opportunity to directly engage with the origins of these materials. I am learning again that what arises from this, is a deeper contextual understanding of the pigments, the textures, and the historical discourse of a material. By understanding this, I hope I can make work that unearths some of these stories and speaks to these backgrounds
As the time moves on, there is a map growing on my wall, of material and spatial exploration - soil colour’s, paths, upstreams and downstreams. All this making and thinking, water and earth brings me back to the opening passage in Robert Smithson’s essay, A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects, and seems fitting to the sliding and shifting happening constantly in this village.
‘One’s mind and the earth are in a constant state of erosion. Mental rivers wear away abstract banks, brain waves undermine cliffs of thought, ideas decompose into stones of unknowing, and conceptual crystallizations break apart into deposits of gritty reason.’ (1968, P.82)
- 01. Plate 03: Upstream (Towards Rocky Valley Dam), from Field Recordings series
- 02. Red clay detail from Mining
- 03. Landslide (HD Video still from Fed, Watered)