March featured artist

Artist: Denise James
Title: Anabranch; an unremarkable history.
Medium: Sunflower seeds, glass jars, text, mixed media
Location: Premier Art Supplies

“We have been lost to each other for so long. My name means nothing to you. My memory is dust. This is not your fault or mine”. Anita Diamant; The Red Tent

Rivers in literature and culture are often referred to by gender identities relating to their status and power for example “Old Man River” from the musical Show Boat refers to the Mississippi in the USA, were as The Ganges is referred to as her or mother by Indian people. The anthropomorphic qualities we give to rivers enable me to relate to the dried creek that is situated on our property, as a metaphor for the vicissitudes of my life.
I have selected the creek bed to explore for two reasons; firstly because the dried creek appears as an un-named line on maps, being the only written reference available, secondly Blaise Pascal the 17th century philosopher in his writings Pensees infers humankind should learn to appreciate and have knowledge of their immediate surroundings. This is sound advice as I intend to become familiar with my place by camping in the creek bed for extended periods, this will allow me to observe the environment of the dried creek and gain an understanding of the place. John Wolseley states that living in the landscape is,

“...a kind of meditation on how land is a dynamic system of which we are all a part”

My work will be the result of my explorations into my place

Detail from Anabranch; an unremarkable history.

Diary Entry: 31-01-2011 What the Anabranch Gave MeAs a result of the recent rains, some parts of the dried creek bed filled with water. Over a short period the water evaporated and I could walk in the creek bed, I found a treasure of rusted metals, shards of ceramic crockery and many glass bottles that the rain had washed to the surface. I have re-contextualise these bottles from their original purpose, into relics, by wrapping each bottle with rice paper, tying the paper with fine linen thread, frottaging the detail on some, then placing the vessels into the glass cube. By this process of re-contextualisation I will pay homage to the people that lived on the property prior to my family.

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