My installation work at 125 St Georges Terrace comes from elements of an existing body of work, (terra) australis incognita, which consists of a number of photographic images as well as 3D pieces of deconstructed furniture objects. This installation was in place for a period of 3 months from June to August 2012 in a room at the front of the development and could be viewed 24 hours a day through the windows of the building.
This work presents symbolically laden objects in various states of deconstruction, creating a tension between order and disorder to provide a powerful means to subtly scrutinise the social fabric of the time they were created and issues surrounding colonialism in Australian culture. Whilst Australian society acknowledges the devastation of its original culture as a consequence of colonisation and attempts to reconcile past atrocities, it becomes increasingly apparent that it is impossible to have complete restoration of an original state.
As the site, City Square, was becoming restored, there was an attempt to recreate and return the original condition and heritage whilst creating dynamic progressive city spaces. I believe this work engaged an interesting dynamic and dialogue within this space, especially within the theme of ‘heritage meets new era’. Creating an examination of the continually shifting of societies, paralleling the experience of colonisation, my photographic images create a forensic like site in a clean and clinical surround at the same time eerily resembling sites of violence. As this site at St Georges Terrace has strong connection with the traditional custodians, Nyungar people, this work considers their existence as well the layering of history which continues to permeate significant sites.
The objects in my images reference European cultural status, knowledge and migration in their various states of deconstruction whilst elements of local native flora bloom violently from the seats of upholstered chairs and suitcases. Drawing upon ideologies of hybridity in culture and nature, these strange manifestations, at times metamorphis into highly aesthetic objects while at other times become dark and menacing forms full of contradictions of half-finished processes of confusions, hybridity and liminality. As some of the objects are dismantled into many components and attempt to be reconstructed to their original states; the flaws becoming apparent to serve as a critique of the process of decolonisation/reconciliation, creating a tension between order and disorder.