trials and tribulations of an installation artist

Yesterday I went to Campbelltown Art Centre and saw the fantastic pieces from the Sydney Biennale there. Two pieces really got me – the Dream House by Šejla Kameric was beautiful, so soft yet dark – the way the house seemed to rise up, was evocative of old 80s cult horror films. The other work I liked was the Liisa Roberts photographic work. I’m not exactly sure who the people were, but in my mind, they were Russians in their homes and at their places of work and it seemed a lot of them were working in creative industries – museums, architects, designers, etc. One element of the works that i kept noticing was the presence of oil heaters! In almost every image, there was an oil heater installed in the room and the more i looked, the more heaters i saw! it’s amazing how the oil heater is an object that you just don’t really see all that often in images of Australian houses or workplaces and i’m sure the Russians just take them for granted!

On the way back from Campelltown, we detoured to Mt Kembla to check out the possible site of a guerilla installation that i wanted to do. There’s a copse of tall, thin gums that have regenerated from bushfires that sit beautifully surrounded by greenery, while appearing majestically metropolitan. I wanted to create a horizontal line drawing with red paper with them and was hoping to sus out the possibility of doing that. The closer i got to the area, the more signs i saw saying Entry Prohibited, Catchment Area, max fine $11,000! Now, I’m not averse to skipping a fence and being a little naughty with creating an artwork, but i had to say goodbye to that idea yesterday. I don’t really want to pollute the catchment for the area with run-off from red paper and roughhousing from climbing up and down ladders. I also really can’t afford an $11,000 fine. This is a huge bummer and i guess it’s part and parcel of wanting to create environmental work. I have to consider the environment and sometimes accept that it’s more important than art’s sake. I’m now on a mission to find a similar space that i can get away with intervening, minus such a costly repercussion.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

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