Wastelands 2006 Art Exhibition
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.... "an extraordinary evocation of contemporary dreaming."
Link to Wayback Machine Archive of Belconnen Gallery online slideshow and info.
Wastelands was a photomedia exhibition held at the Belconnen Gallery in Belconnen Community Centre from 14th 24th Nov, 2006 and then during December as well.
Jo Bowen, Executive Director of Belconnen Community Service, opened the exhibition at 3pm on Wednesday 15th Nov.
"Wasteland aims to provide a catalyst for artists and communities as individuals and groups to express their relationship to the environment including and between Western Sydney and the ACT. This stretch of landscape is viewed as a space to be traversed between two destinations - a wasteland to pass through. Lines of beauty and despair are sped past, the natural and built positive space blurring into negative space. Wasteland is a project of the MV Network, a federation of regional arts facilities and presenters bonded by the M5 motorway, stretching from the Casula Powerhouse in Western Sydney through Campbelltown and the Southern Tablelands to Canberra and Queanbeyan. The Wasteland exhibition at Belconnen is the first stage in a multi phase project that will see each of the members interpret the Wasteland theme, culminating in a major exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse in 2007.
10 amazingly diverse artists have created the works for this exhibition at Belconnen Gallery: Nasser Palangi, Kathleen Fisher, Barbie Robinson, Jennifer Phillips, Sheila Keunen, Ian Haynes, Jennifer Martiniello, Susan Henderson, Geri Johnstone, and Luisa Abello. The curator is Anni Doyle Wawrzynczak" (Comments by Anni Doyle Wawrzynczak November 2006).
Accessed from: http://web.archive.org/web/20070704234538/http://www.belcomserv.com.au/art/wastecat.htm
"Born in New Zealand, Jennifer first visited Australia in 1969. Her fascination with photography began early with her father's Box Brownie. In 2000 she moved to Australia and made her first piece of digital Art in 2004. Her recent work has won a number of awards including Peoples Choice Award in the Art Views in the Hills group exhibition. Jennifer has degrees in Education, Multimedia Integration and Screen. She has published 4 books of poetry and remains deeply affected by the Australian landscape."
While staying at Heartzer Park retreat and thinking about "wasteland", I came across a rusty old milk pail next to the stump of a once large old tree. The pail was empty, discarded, rusty, forgotten. I thought of all the waste places and products of our changing technology and consumer habits. I photographed it thinking of the New Testament imagery of "Milk" as first spiritual food, of people who "carry" this food. I thought of old age and the effects it would have on my body, damaged by 5 car accidents. I felt like a rusty old milk pail but was encouraged by an ancient promise of God spoken by Isaiah, "Even in old age I will carry you". So I let the tree stump, a symbol of Jesus, carry pails. I created 7 (perfection) visible branch like milky wind waves flowing into and around the pails, which become 3 almost invisible beams passing through and under the pails. The pails are being carried into eternity ahead.
Every day on the way to work I see trees hanging over towards the highway and love the look of the lines ... almost a < shape. I wanted to photograph, draw and paint them. "Highway Enveloped" began as a sketch with these "greater than, less than" lines in mind. Digital photos taken through the car window captured a "highway". I had also been thinking about and making images of rusty old vessels. I liked the imagery in Isaiah's words about God's highway being in the heart of those who make waste places, like the Valley of Achor /Baca, into places of refreshment. I thought about his words, "I will make a road through the wilderness of the world for my people to go home" with walls of precious stones. So I paraphrased some ancient words that trigger hope in me, turning them into the walls of precious stones surrounding the highway home.
"I have used the same shape of the highway in the sky to trigger thoughts about heavens highways, sent messages and pathways. A message of hope for the wasteland."
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