My work, “Caring for Country”, references Australia’s First People who have a relationship to country that transcends the majority of non-Aboriginals. They believe that land is not a commodity to be bought and sold. This relationship has survived intact despite the destructive impact of European settlement. The Northern Land Council, in 1995, created the Caring for Country Unit to help Aboriginal landowners deal with new land and sea management challenges they were facing.
Today, mining the landscape has irrevocably altered the geological structure of the physical environment.
In “Caring for Country”, I have used a surgeon’s scalpel to incise and transform a book of volcanoes into a site for mining. In mine-sites we rupture the landscape in much the same way as a volcano during an eruption. I mine deep into the pages of the book with a scalpel and feel the pain of Australia’s First People as it slices through the surface to the subcutaneous layers beneath.
For centuries Aboriginals left only footprints as they moved seasonally across the landscape. What footprint will be our legacy?
Reminiscence – A Tribute to Judith Wright – (Bowral) September 2015