Artist opens gold mine in Marrickville.
Only a couple of weeks until ‘Choice Mate’ opens.
I’m a bit anxious about this work. Like all new experiments, I’m not quite sure how it will all turn out. No images yet as the process of installation is part of the work itself.
Choice Mate – Bridget Kennedy,
airspaceprojects.com , 10 Junction St, Marrickvile, 10 – 25 July 2015
materials: beeswax, pigments, found objects, gold leaf, fools gold, an ounce of gold, 2015
Choice Mate, an installation covering the gallery floor with thousands of small objects. They look like rocks. Almost. But not quite.
Inspired by a month-long residency in Hill End ,NSW, this miniature landscape is made from ‘wax effigies’ of real rocks: discarded remnants of the town’s gold mining past. This phrase evokes the melancholic tang of loss. As well it should, for Choice Mate is a kind of memorial. And like all good memorials it serves as a trigger of contemplation as well as commemoration.
Made primarily from beeswax, the ‘rocks’ are coloured with both earthy ochres and artificial pigments. There is something just a little unsettling about the colour; something not quite right. I don’t want my objects to be mistaken for the real thing. The deliberately heightened colours point to the fact that my landscape is human-made. This microcosm is an invitation to consider the impact our interventions have on the larger environment.
While at Hill End, I walked a lot. I became aware of how every inch of soil beneath me had been turned over by human hands; crushed and eroded in search of treasure. I discovered that what appeared to be ‘natural’ was actually the result of choices made: the decision to delve into the earth in search of gold, the choice to destroy one thing of beauty in exchange for the chance of finding another.
Choice Mate offers visitors this same conundrum. Each of the rocks may (or may not) contain some genuine gold. Visitors may decide to ‘mine’ the work, stake a claim and take a piece home. In doing this they will leave an indelible mark on this carefully constructed landscape, destroying its original form. Or not. They may instead decide to leave the landscape intact. In this way, Choice Mate is a gentle reminder that all of our choices, no matter how small, have repercussions.