Expanding Australia, 2016
Laminated timber, mirrored acrylic, 3m x 4m
Images courtesy of the artist
Frankston Art Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Expanding Australia was the outcome of an artist residency at the East Coburg Community House, Naarm/Melbourne, Australia. It began with a segmented map of the Moreland City Council area and ended with a functional floor sculpture of two phases of continental Australia - the exposed and the submerged. I was able to utilise the large space which dictated the scale and placement of the work. I used the projector to plan the work, and the outdoor area to cut the work on site.
The local Moreland community engaged with the work as I made it and at an artist talk giving me valuable feedback to aid its development. I have always seen this work as in progress, ready to evolve as my knowledge increases and as more conversations are had. I hope it becomes a way of opening and maintaining conversation amongst Australians of settler background and new migrants. We need to better educate ourselves on Australia's Black history. We need to acknowledge that we benefit from living and working on Country. We need to build respectful relationships between First Peoples and the wider Australian community if we are to reconcile the past and achieve any shared sense of fairness and justice.
Many thanks to Catherine Connolly, Emma Salaoras and Alex Coulombe for their assistance with this work.