Sunday, 10 September 2017

Cosmic Imprints

Researching the diverse ecosystem of the Tamar Estuary in Launceston, Tasmania I have documented a mirroring between the ecosystem of this tidal zone and the constellations in the night sky.
Indigenous Australians see the Milky Way as a river in the sky and Cosmic Imprints links the Tamar and Milky Way.
The images below are part of the research process recorded in a visual diary.

Cosmic Imprints 2018 
Details taken from the incomplete work.
Printing ink and graphite pencil on a roll of Japanese paper
Dimensions variable

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Remnants of space and Time. Archaeology of the Site.

Remnants of space and Time. Archaeology of the Site is a process based performative installation which will take place over three days at Abbotsford Convent as part of Melbourne Fringe, and will continue on site until October 1st.

VENUE: Abbotsford Convent - Mercator Lawn
DATE: 14-9-2017 until 1-10-2017
TIME: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
The artist will be onsite installing the work 10AM -2PM Thursday 14 - Saturday 16 Sept.
Free Artist run tours Friday 22 & Thursday 28 Sept at 8:30 PM, meet at Providence lawn.
The artist will take tours to the site of the wrapped remnants which form a network of glowing lines.

 Remnants of Space and Time. Archaeology of the Site 2017
The use of pegs and string in Remnants echoes the equipment used by archaeologists to map out the site of their dig.
In Remnants of Space and Time pegs and string are used to map and wrap a space that was part of the infrastructure used by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd during the Convent years.
The space holds the remains of brick wall from a coal bunker, large boiler pipes from the Magdalene Laundries and bluestone cobbles quarried from Convent site in the1800s.
Wrapping the site animates traces of the past and calls attention to the history and stories of the Convent.
The work is active both day and night as the string is dipped in glow in the dark paint and after dark  creates a network of glowing lines in the space.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Archaeology of the Sky 2017

The Archaeology of the Sky is part of an ongoing project connected to the archaeological dig at Kerry Lodge, Launceston, Tasmania. 
This work extends the ideas explored in Starmaps 2016 where the patterns of the pegs and string that marked out the dig site suggested the pattern of the stars in the night sky above, constellating in Starmaps.
As above so below.

The Archaeology of the Sky is a process based performative installation which took place over six days at the archaeological dig. I used pegs and string to map the southern constellations onto the site, briefly grounding them at Kerry Lodge. The web of lines that emerged from this process wrapped the site and framed its contours forming a taut network of star patterns.

The Archaeology of the Sky 2017

Strata: Tracing The Past
Ten Days On The Island
Installed at Kerry Lodge Archaeological Dig, Launceston, Tasmania 
Metal pegs and builders string.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Home tomorrow

I go home and the baby swallows nesting metres from my desk have left their nest today.


Friday, 13 January 2017

Bass Straight and Tamar Estuary, Low Head, Northern Tasmania

I drove the length of the Tamar (seventy kilometres) to Low Head today where the Tamar meets Bass Straight and where her tides originate.
Apparently the tides in the Tamar can be fifteen metres deep at this point, 
it's incredibly deep here, deeper than the Straight.

The Tamar Estuary meets Bass Straight

Agar Maps and Constellations in the Grass. The Archeology of the Sky

           Experiments in Agar Maps, 1-1-2017. Agar, sisal, cheesecloth and Launceston dirt.
I'm taking part in Ten Days on the Island

I'll be at the dig site casting/catching the stars via Agar Maps: I'll pour hot liquid agar onto the earth and reinforce it with sisal and or cheesecloth. The idea is that the aga absorbs the earth from below and catches the stardust on its upper surface.

I'll also be mapping out the southern constellations with pegs and string mirroring the technique used by the archeologists to mark out their site. 


  1-1-2017. Agar, sisal, cheesecloth and Launceston dirt.

   1-10-2016. Agar, sisal and Melbourne dirt.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

permanent markers and time keepers

I have found some permanent poles, which I can photograph without entering the mud.
I have kept a photographic record of the tides and time via these permanent markers
and their shadows.

2.30pm, 6-1-2017. Low tide, Tamar Estuary, Launceston,Tasmania

7.50pm, 6-1-2017. High tide, Tamar Estuary, Launceston,Tasmania

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

bird cuneiform

I planned to use traces of bird footprints left in the mud at low tide as little moulds.
I'd photograph the footprint and number the image, then carefully fill the footprint with Hydrocal 105 - a fast setting buff stone/plaster, let it set, remove it and place it in its own little bag and match the number to the photograph. 
In this way I'd be able to reassemble each foot print, and accumulate a record of the bird life on the Tamar in Launceston i.e. Bird Cuneiform.
However, the reality on arrival in Launceston is that the mud is too deep for me to stand in and perform my casting operations and create Bird Cuneiform

Duck footprints

So I have made a list of all the bird sightings on the Tamar and will research the feet of these birds and use Dass or a similar material and form the footprints of each bird 
my self.

I make regular sightings of the swan family.

Mud and tides

I prepared tidal charts for the Tamar Estuary in Launceston.
I was ready to map the tidal zone.

I set out on the 6th with six 2.2 metre poles to plant along the low tide mark  -- I stepped into the mud to make my way out to the waterline and sank knee deep into it. Hours later (in the roaring heat) the poles were in with the water level, time and date marked onto them.
I returned at high tide with the other six 2.2 metre poles to place along the high tide mark, but it was impossible to gain access, the undergrowth looked snaky and the depth of the water was unpredictable with so much mud beneath.
I returned home with the six poles knowing I would not be able to pull off my vision of the twelve poles in situ, inscribed with the record of the tides over the next two weeks, and the final installation of pink builders string linking the poles across the tidal zone was not going to happen.

Low tide, Tamar Estuary, Launceston, Tasmania


Six poles, low tide, Tamar Estuary, Launceston,Tasmania

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Back for another two weeks at the cottage in the gorge

Kings Bridge Cottage, Cataract Gorge, Launceston. Tasmania

Launceston is built on the flood plain associated with the Tamar Estuary and the North and South Esk Rivers.
Kings Bridge Cottage is located just inside the gorge at the juncture of the Tamar Estuary and South Esk River, five minutes from the centre of Launceston.
This river system is tidal, and I have mapped the vertical movement of the South Esk River as it moves up and down the face of the gorge (see post 'The Moon and the South Esk River.')
Now I'm interested in mapping the horizontal movement of the Tamar as it flows in and out at the edge of town.
I'll do this daily by marking high and low tide with a series of poles, and photographing the process. 
I start tomorrow.
Photographs to follow.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Starmaps in Launceston

Starmaps 2016 is part of the project associated with the archeological dig at Kerry Lodge, Launceston, Tasmania. 

The patterns of the pegs and sting that marked out the dig suggested the pattern in the night sky above the site, constellating in Starmaps.
As above so below.

Starmaps are an ancient form used by indigenous Australians for millennia to navigate across country at night.

Starmaps 2016 
Overview and details
Wax crayon, paper, perspex and wood. 
48 x 120cm
Sawtooth Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania

Details, Starmaps 


Home again - thinking about the the North Esk and Tamar's silt/mud

The North Esk River at low tide revealing the silt 

I am working on a new project based around the site where the silt builds at the juncture of the South Esk River, the Tamar Estuary and the North Esk River in Launceston.
i am interested in the City's relationship with this silt.
I love the silt or mud I call it, and I think it's beautiful, but I haven't spoken to anyone who lives in Launceston who has anything but distain for it.
Comments I've gathered about the silt from taxi drivers over the last week, when I've asked why people in Launceston dislike the silt in the Tamar and North Esk:

It stinks
It's unsightly
It's so ugly at low tide
They don't like it
It's toxic
It stinks

The North Esk River at low tide, and remnants of the old port in Launceston

Duck footprints in the mud

I was talking to Rob who drove me to the airport in the shuttle bus, 
he used to moor his fishing boat on the Tamar in Launceston 
(the 2 images above) but the intersection of the North Esk and Tamar
becomes such a bottle neck with the build up of silt that he couldn't 
always get his boat through and down the Tamar out into Bass Straight.
So he's shifted it further down the Tamar where its wider.
When I come to Launceston in January 2017 he's offered to take me 
down the Tamar and out into Bass straight in his boat, so I can look 
back at where the Tamar cuts into the land. We may even have 
flathead for dinner.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Here is a link to the talk and power point presentation I gave at the Tasmanian College of the Arts last Thursday

This presentation will be clear to the people who attended the forum, as I read the text first then showed the images speaking to them without a written text. So there isn't a great deal of written commentary accompanying the images.
However at the bottom of the text you will see that I have numbered the images and named the projects they are relevant to.

Text for Presentation

Powerpoint Presentation

Saturday, 6 August 2016

the dig in winter

Went back to the site of the archeological dig at Kerry Lodge today
iregard to the onsite work of pegging out the Southern Cross that I 
propose for next March.
I checked out the spot suggested by Karen Hall the curator of the art 
project affiliated with the dig, and I think it'll be OK, it's close to the 
actual pegged out dig where the archeologists will be working and it 
offers a little shade. (It was very hot last March at Kerry Lodge) 

It was strange being there alone

The site of the dig.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Drove to Bass Straight today

The Tamar Estuary enters Bass Straight 70 km north of Launceston. 
I drove the 70 km sticking close to the Tamar and finally I was looking at Bass Straight and the Tamar coming together.
The tides originating from Bass Straight have preoccupied my mind since I started mapping the tidal movement of the South Esk River in March. Refer to blog post The Moon and The South Esk River, 17 May 2016.

Bass Straight and  Tamar Estuary, Greens Beach. Tasmania

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The tidal mark on the cliff face of Cataract Gorge has changed

The tidal mark left by the South Esk River has s a stripe now that wasn't 
there in March this year.
I wonder if the flood in June has something to do with it?

The moon is writing a different language.

Cataract Gorge, South Esk River. August 2016

Cataract Gorge, South Esk River. March 2016

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Went to the planetarium today

While I'm in Launceston I'm also researching The Kerry Lodge Art Project. (for more information refer to blog post: Stages of an archeological dig. Posted on March 31)
Next year as part of Tasmania's Ten Days On The Island, The K L A Project is located at the archeological dig and I'm proposing to map out the Southern Cross with string and pegs near the site of the dig. 
So the planetarium's experiential exhibit of the night sky over Tasmania was particularly pertinent given the emphasis on the Southern Cross.

Tomorrow I start installing my work for the first of three exhibitions associated with this project.

I'm giving a talk about my practice at the Tasmanian College of the Arts - University of Tasmania in Launceston this Thursday, I'll have the talk and images available on line by next week and you can find all the details about the K L A Project there.

Exploring the Tamar and the old port

Walked around the juncture of the Tamar Estuary and the South Esk
River. There is an ongoing build up of silt in this area and the City of 
Launceston has an ongoing raking program to remove it.

The upper most reaches of the Tamar Estuary in Launceston, where 
it flows into the South Esk River.

Walked further to the junction of the North Esk River and the Tamar, 
which is the area in Launceston where the worst flooding occurs.

There was an active port at the convergence of the Tamar and the 
North and South Esk Rivers and there are remnants of the old port 
under the boardwalk that's recently been built around the perimeter 
of the Tamar and North Esk River.

Traces of the old port, under the boardwalk. 1 and 2