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Boab Inscriptions

Fremantle Art Centre, 2010

This body of work was the result of a three-month residency at Fremantle Arts Centre, which included a research trip through the Kimberley region of North Western Australia.

The exhibition extended my ongoing investigations into the nuances of graffiti and its revelations of fringe societies.  In this case the inscriptions found on the trunks of Boab trees in the Kimberly are cited as unique markings that which carry with them the layers of the region’s complex social history.  Many of the trees grow to be hundreds of years old and the inscriptions in their surfaces stand as a record of the landscape’s human occupants over centuries.  The marks of early colonial settlers and cattle drovers sit alongside the more recent inscriptions track the journeys and holidaymakers through the area.

The exhibition was spread through three gallery spaces incorporating large-scale tracings made from the surfaces of Boab trees and interpretations of this material in the form of paintings and rudimentary furniture.