Excavating a Sticky History / Rubbing Salt into the Wound is a series of material assemblages made from salt-crystalised wool, charcoal meringues, toffee bowls and concrete mounds. It describes a beautiful dystopia. It is the ghost of the ‘harsh’ Australian landscape that the colonisers saw, haunting with the hidden narratives within materials and attention to the processes of the land. The amorphous and malleable materials have specific colonial, Indigenous and family storylines – salt, sugar, wool and charcoal – when in-situ they morph, melt, change and adapt to their new surroundings. These monumental forces at play give agency to the more-than-human, highlighting that the artist’s (or coloniser’s) hand is not the greatest force at work.
As an attempt to remove the colonial myth of land claiming, the audience is encouraged to immerse themselves within the assemblage, moving their body to fit the work by sitting down and observing the complexities of the land, and the sticky histories of the site.
Salt, Wool, Charcoal, Blood Orange Marmalade, Meringue, Concrete, Eucalyptus Sap
2017 Honours Graduate Work at UNSW Art and Design