Finalist, The 2018 Fauvette Loureiro Artists Travel Scholarship Exhibition

I am super excited to be the winner of the Fauvette Loureiro Artists Travel Scholarship, with the finalists exhibition,

4 Oct – 3 Nov

SCA Galleries,

Balmain Road Rozelle NSW 2039

The installation I have in this show centres around the nineteenth century German word Kulturlandschaft: a landscape marked by human culture; bearing the manifest residues and remains of our cultural, physical and economic presence on the land. This is the territorialised, extracted and transformed landscape of the Anthropocene.

Installation view: Background: Erect 2018. UV cured digital print, acrylic, linen, fibreglass mesh. 1.7 x 1.8 m. Foreground:  Hungerstone 2018. Dye sublimation on polyester. 1.6 x 1.4m

It is interesting that the German language specifically differentiated between cultured landscape and natural landscape. By comparison, for First Nation Australians there could be no distinction; all land was inhabited, occupied by spirits and people, and required attending.

The installation is a series of landscape markers mapping the territory around recent research, which pivoted from Lachlan Macquarie’s ‘Holey Dollars’. In 1812 Macquarie ordered £10,000 worth of Spanish silver dollars, the most globally traded currency at the time, and had holes punched in the centre of coins, creating two pieces- the outer Holley Dollar and the inner Dump, in order to address a hard currency shortage in the colony. This singularly innovative act of official currency mutilation and economic magical thinking was subsequently recognised by the Macquarie Bank, who adopted the holey dollar as its logo.

Scholarship, Event, Opening night

The majority of the silver in the coins was mined from the largest Spanish mine of the time, at Potosi in Bolivia, which was heavily worked across two centuries under punishing human and environmental conditions. Lead-dust released from rock crushing and ore extraction at Potosi in the 17th and 18th century has been detected in ice core samples from the ice mass of the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru; tracing through mineral contamination the activities of the Spanish colonial empire.
As part of this research I undertook a residency earlier this year in Broken Hill, Australia’s largest historic silver mine, biomapping at a molecular level the silver in the Holey Dollars. As part of this research I discovered an anthropogenic link between the silver mined from Potosí, Bolivia, contained in the Holey Dollar and Broken Hill silver mining. The lead dust contamination from both Potosí and Broken Hill silver mines was found in Antarctic icecore samples. Lead dust with the unique isotopic fingerprint of the Broken Hill galena-based load arrived 20 years before Amundsen and Scott raced to the South Pole to claim the last un-colonised continent.
As part of this research I discovered an anthropogenic link between the silver mined from Potosí, Bolivia, contained in the Holey Dollar and Broken Hill silver mining. The lead dust contamination from both Potosí and Broken Hill silver mines was found in Antarctic icecore samples. Lead dust with the unique isotopic fingerprint of the Broken Hill galena-based load arrived 20 years before Amundsen and Scott competed to claim the last un-colonised continent.

Installation view: Erect (background), Yield (background), Hungerstone (background), Wind over Crystaline Forest (foreground)

The installation contains two lines of sight around money and land- The quasi-totemic Money Tree and the video, Magical Thinking (Supply Side Economics) consider the belief systems and economical magical thinking that underpins fiat currency economics broadly and Macquarie’s official currency mutilation specifically; transforming one coin into two. Macquarie Bank subsequently appropriated the Holey Dollar as its logo, celebrating this singular innovation and profit.

Centre: Money Tree, 2018, installation view.UV cured digital print, acrylic, linen, fabric, trimmings, dyed rooster feathers, beads, wood. 2.1 x 2.3m. Left: Hungerstone Right: Wind over Crystaline Forest

The wall works, Yield and Erect, evoke the white-cube history of landscape display and commodification while reflecting contemporary narratives of power, economics and landownership, through the lens of Australian colonialism.

    • Production stills from video,

Magical Thinking (Supply Side),

    2018. (looped video, no sound)

Wind over Crystaline Forest is a collection of vertical flags manifest a floating, oversized argentiferous galena (silver-lead) crystal, prior to alchemically smelting for silver. The crystal right-angle forms and facets are an apparition of its future human structural utility.


Foreground: Wind over Crystaline Forest, 2018. Dye sublimation on polyester, wood, trimmings. installation view. Background: Hungerstone and Erect


Hungerstein (Hunger stone) a draped fabric transubstantiation of a medieval river-stone, one of a series used as drought markers in Europe across centuries, carved with warnings to future generations of crop failure if river levels drop to reveal the stone. Contemporary yet ancient and embedded, material and message, the Hungerstein completes the storytelling.


Left: Magical Thinking (Supply Side), 2018, looped video on wall-mounted screen.  Right: Erect, 2018.


Erect, installation view SCA Gallery, Opening night


Dump: new work @ Kudos, July/Aug 2018


Penelope Cain

24 July- 11 Aug 2018
Kudos Gallery
6 Napier St, Paddington, NSW 2021
Wed-Sat 11-6

Dump is an object-initiated enquiry taking as a starting point the first official Australian colonial currency: Lachlan Macquarie’s holey dollar and dump of 1812.  Dump traces at a molecular level the silver of the holey dollar, through a linked series of anthropogenic landscapes, from Spanish colonial silver mines to Broken Hill and on to the Antarctic.

This new line of enquiry continues ongoing ideas around kulturlandshaft; landscapes of the anthropocene.


Link to catalogue essay by Anneke Jaspers, Curator, Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Penelope Cain Silver Tree Dump

Silver Tree, installation view, 2018

Dump is a pejorative term for a place used to dispose of waste. It is also the low-value central disk of the ‘holey dollar’, the first local official currency of colonial Australia, devised by Lachlan Macquarie. The title of this exhibition takes into consideration both of these meanings in this object-initiated enquiry.

In the face of insufficient British currency in the colony, in 1812 Lachlan Macquarie ordered a consignment of £10,000 worth of Spanish silver dollars, the most widely traded currency at the time. The silver in the coins was mined from Spanish colonial mines in Peru and Mexico, which were heavily worked across two centuries under punishing human and environmental conditions.

Penelope Cain Silver Tree Dump

Silver Tree: detail Digital print on fabric, 3 m x 1.2 m 2018


Some of this silver came from the largest Spanish colonial mine of the time, the Potosi mine in Peru (now Bolivia). Lead released from mining silver at Potosi in the 17th and 18th century has been detected in ice core samples from the Quelccaya ice cap, the largest tropical ice-mass in the world; tracing through mineral contamination the activities of the Spanish colonial empire.


When the Spanish dollars arrived in Sydney, Macquarie had a convict- a former forger- to punch holes in the centre of the coins, creating two pieces- the outer holey dollar and the inner dump- thus doubling the number of available coins. Each coin was allocated a currency value distinct from the value of the silver in the coin. This singularly innovative act of official currency mutilation and economic magical thinking was subsequently recognised by the Macquarie Bank, who adopted the holey dollar as its logo.

penelope cain money tree

Money Tree digital print on linen , acrylic, dyed rooster and pheasant feathers, fabric, trimming, wood, 2.1 x 2.3 m, 2018

Significant silver deposits exist in Australia and one of the earliest mines was at Broken Hill. The silver in the hill was first identified and subsequently mined by a horseback boundary rider, Charles Rasp, in 1883. The rocky hill contained one of the largest lead-silver-zinc mineral lodes in the world. It has been continuously mined since this time, and gave birth to the now international mining giant, BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary Company), of which Charles Rasp was one of the original syndicate members.

With part of his newfound wealth, Charles Rasp purchased a large decorative silver epergne, which adorned his dining table. This ornate, finely worked colonial table decoration, standing close to 1 m tall, depicts a tall silver tree on rocky outcrop, ornamented with figures of indigenous Australians, native animals and a drover on horseback, encircling the rocky hill- almost as if it was made just for this man. It was made from over 8.5 kg of silver, and the mineral origin of this silver is thought to have been Mexico and Peru.

Penelope Cain

Dust for the Past (II), (detail) digital print on rag on aluminium, with fabric. 90 x 120 2018

Mining activities at Broken Hill released lead dust that spread wind-born across the dry, denuded landscape, contaminating the ground around the town at the base of the hill and mine, and bioacumulating in animals, saltbush, children and even bees. Lead is a slow neurotoxin, difficult to eliminated from the body. Bees in Broken Hill have elevated lead levels in their bodies and primary school aged children in the most heavily contaminated areas of the town have statistically higher blood lead levels and lower NAPLAN scores than their peers.

Lead containing the unique Broken Hill isotopic fingerprint from the earliest mining activities has been found as far away as ice core samples in the Antarctic. Snow containing Broken Hill lead dust fell on the south pole 20 years before Amundsen and Scott battled across that previously untrodden landscape.



Dump considers these molecularly linked, anthropogenic, colonised landscapes, while propositionally speaking to the mystical aura of belief and power around money and land.


Dust for the fenceline (detail) digital print on rag on aluminium, with fabric. 90 x 110 2018




With thanks to the Albert Kersten Mining and Minerals Museum, Broken Hill, for providing access to photograph the Silver Tree.

Acknowledgement is made to the Kaurna people and lands in which the Silver Tree was made and the Wiljakali people and lands in which the Silver Tree is now located.

With thanks to MAAS for providing access to the holey dollars and dumps held in its vast collection.

With thanks to the National Library, for access to the image from ‘The Successful Explorers at the South Pole, 14th December 1911 [picture]/ Olav Bjaaland’.

With many thanks to Dave and Carol Apiarists for their knowledge and access to film.

Many thanks to the dedicated team at the Broken Hill Artist Exchange

One of the holey dollars in the MAAS collection


Widespread pollution of the South American atmosphere predates the industrial revolution by 240 y. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA (2015),  Chiara Ugliettia,1, Paolo Gabriellia,b,2, Colin A. Cookec,3, Paul Vallelongad, and Lonnie G. Thompsona,b

Antarctic-wide array of high-resolution ice core records reveals pervasive lead pollution began in 1889 and persists today. Scientific Reports (2014) J. R. McConnell1, O. J. Maselli1, M. Sigl1, P. Vallelonga2, T. Neumann3, H. Anschu ̈tz4, R. C. Bales5, M. A. J. Curran6, S. B. Das7, R. Edwards8, S. Kipfstuhl9, L. Layman1 & E. R. Thomas10

Identifying Sources of Environmental Contamination in European Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) Using Trace Elements and Lead Isotopic Compositions
Xiaoteng Zhou† , Mark Patrick Taylor*†‡ , Peter J. Davies†‡, and Shiva Prasad§

Fingerprinting sources of environmental contamination using European honeybees

The Association between Environmental Lead Exposure and High School Educational Outcomes in Four Communities in New South Wales, Australia, 2017
Jennifer McCrindle 1,*, Donna Green 2 and Marianne Sullivan 3

Christina Low1, Damian Gore1, Mark Patrick Taylor1& Honway Louie

Antarctic-wide array of high-resolution ice core records reveals pervasive lead pollution began in 1889 and persists today. Joseph R Mcconnell et al. Scientific Reports · July 2014

Mercury pollution from the past mining of gold and silver in the Americas.
Jerome O. Nriagu

The death of honey bees and environmental pollution by pesticides: The honey bees as biological indicators.
Laura Bortolotti et al. Bulletin of Insectology · January 2003

Kulturlandschaft: Thoughts and readings on landscape

Kulturlandschaft: Thoughts and readings on landscape

Coined at the beginning of the 20th century by German geographer, Otto Schlüter, a term to described landscape created by human culture, I feel as if this term is even more relevant now, in the post-colonial, late-capitalist Anthropocene, where almost everywhere on earth bears the marks of human habitation, through climate change and environmental residues of human activities.

From an art- historical perspective, Simon Scharma puts his stake in the ground-

Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock…once a certain idea of landscape, a myth, a vision, establishes itself in an actual place, it has a peculiar way of muddling categories, of making metaphors more real than their referents; of becoming, in fact, part of the scenery [p. 61].

Simon Scharma, Landscape and Memory


It follows from this that if Landscape and Memory is a book about places, it is also about people and their socially constructed ideas of places, and turning ‘Nature’ (such a contested term when talking about land) into Landscape, conccuring with Leverbre’s created spatial theory.


And yet, somewhat less poetically, and more anthropogenically from Rebecca Solnit;

…We forget that battlefields are one kind of landscape and that most landscapes are also territories…on the small scale they involve real estate and sense of place, on the large scale they involve nationalisms, war, and the grounds for ethnic identity…(the landscape is) not just where we picnic but also where we live and die. It is where our food, water, fuel, and minerals come from, where our nuclear waste and s— and garbage go to, it is the territory of dreams, somebody’s homeland and somebody’s gold mine.

Rebecca Solnit, As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, 2001

And finally;

In The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing takes as a pivot point the Matsutake mushroom, the most valuable mushroom in the world, yet also a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere, a process she calls auto-rewilding (in reference to the movement of re-wilding- reintroducing top predators into reserves and parks to re-balance the ecosystem). Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. Tsing follows these contradictions to ask what manages to live in the ruins we have made- the Anthropogenic Kulturlandschaft.

penelope cain

Dust for the future

penelope cain

Dust for the past

Above: In progress video, documenting bio-mapping of lead residue in the landscape around Broken Hill. This video was an outcome of a residency at the Broken Hill Artist Exchange, 2018.




Two-Up in Ideas Platform, Artspace

Two-Up has been curated into a show at the Ideas Platform, Artspace.

Harriet Body, Penelope Cain, Shireen Taweel and Hannah Toohey have worked closely with Artspace curators through a series of studio visits and mentored exchanges over the past three months. This process has culminated in a group exhibition in Artspace’s Ideas Platform, co-curated by Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor, Curator Talia Linz, Curatorial Assistant Lola Pinder and Parramatta Studios Coordinator Sophia Kouyoumdjian. 

Opening: Wednesday 8 November, 6pm

Exhibition Dates: 9 November – 9 December, 2017

43 – 51 Cowper Wharf Road
Wolloomooloo, Sydney

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, 2017 Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, fabric, trimmings, wood 130 x 190 cm

Two-Up  is part of an ongoing line of investigation reflecting broadly on the politics and spatiality of occupation and territory. This investigation engages with the spatiality of colonialism and sovereignty, both old and new, formal and informal, and consider to differing degrees Australia’s history and contemporary resource politics.

The work follows on from Undermine, currently exhibited in the Fishers Ghost Exhibition, Campbelltown Art Gallery. Both works pivot from a small painting by a nineteenth century former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock, in the State Library Collection. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour, encompassing a view of the emerging commerce and city of the colony, and was central to my previous exhibition, Profiteer Chic, at Artereal Gallery, July 2017, through its imagery and the historic and economic narratives it contained.

Penelope Cain Two-Up

Two-Up, detail, 2017 UV-cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, 100x 130

This new work takes the form of a semicircular work on linen, with fibreglass and acrylic printed shadows of two oil rigs occupying the harbour.  Using the positive and negative silhouettes was an attempt to imply a temporal rupture- I’m repeatedly drawn to the material potential for the fibreglass mesh to give a ghosting or after image like effect- like the image burned on eyelids from looking.

A semicircular netting and fabric pennant resting underneath the linen work, to form a broken circle shape. In making this pennant or banner form, I wanted to imply a form of hegemonic power, with overt references to sovereign flags and religious or military regalia, and even loosely to tribal masks, with the silhouette of two gambling chips, like bilateral eyes.

In making this pennant, using fabrics more often associated with dance or burlesque, I was thinking about the performability of commerce, politics and power in the urban landscape, and from a formal aspect, experimenting with modes of expanding the 2-D painting surface.


Installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace


Penelope Cain Tenure

Tenure, 2017 Poles, fabric, coreflute, rope, cement cast sandcastles Provisional installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace

Welcome: temporary guerrilla turfing

I have an ongoing interested in landscape in its widest term, and am drawn to tracing the narratives of space and place that are embedded in the encultured landscape. But I keep getting drawn back to notions of power and its presence in physical and economic spaces of the city.

The council near my studio recently installed some antiterrorism blocks in front of a public square. The square is at a pedestrian crossroad, both a resting and transit space, near a busy road. It was previously a visually and physically open place, in the middle of a highly multicultural community. The line of blocks created a physical dotted line de-marking the square; not there one day, there the next.

I was torn- recognising the risk, acknowledging terrible events that have occurred in public spaces in other countries, but saddened by the physical, cultural and psychological closure that these blocks created. I felt it was necessary to respond on behalf of the city that I knew.

The response was a series of cut turf rectangles, bearing spray-painted elements of the word ‘welcome’: welcome/ we come/ well come/  we me/ we


In collaboration with Artist Kalanjay Dhir we installed these turf rectangles on top of the antiterrorism blocks in a 6 am guerilla art exercise in the suburban stillness of a mild spring morning. They remained on site for 4 days, and were subsequently removed by council clean-up team. These photos document their presence. The blocks remain.

New work, finalist Fishers Ghost Award, Campbelltown Gallery

Undermine is a finalist in the Fishers Ghost Award, at the Campbelltown Art Centre, from 3rd Nov- 15th December, 2017.

Penelope Cain Undermine

Undermine, 2017 UV cured digital print on linen, fibreglass mesh, dyed rooster feathers, fabric, wood, plaster reinforced sandcastles, tape

Undermine pivots from a small painting by a nineteenth century former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour, encompassing a view of the emerging commerce and city of the colony, and was central to my previous exhibition, Profiteer Chic, at Artereal Gallery, July 2017.

In Undermine I have used fragments from this colonial landscape to photoshop a between-image, with an overlay of fibreglass mesh, depicting two oil rigs.

The linen work is framed by two fabric and feather banner forms, one of which rests on a pile of plaster-reinforced sandcastles.

In this work I was reflecting on ideas around extractive economics and colonialism, both old and new. I am also interested in territorialism and sovereignty- formal versus provisional and vernacular forms of spatial occupation. The expanded installation structures reflect on this interest.  When I was a child I shared the great Australian summer holiday experience at the beach- spending days by the beach umbrella, building small termporary cities of sandcastles, complete with seaweed flags and gumnut boats. Some of this spatial play is reflected in this work.

Fisher’s Ghost Art Award

Finalist in the Glenfiddich Art Prize and Residency

Super excited to be a finalist in the Glenfiddich Art Prize and Residency, Australia and New Zealand, with an exhibition of finalists at Sydney Contemporary. The 5 finalists, from over 180 applications are:

Belem Lett, Elyse De Valle, Hiromi Tango and Craig Walsh, Lillian O’Neil, and Penelope Cain

Yield 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, fibreglass mesh, feathers, fabric, wood, trimmings, PVC forms, sequins, coreflute. Installation view, 2.4 m x 2 m

This work continues my ongoing interest in landscape in its widest terms, and in particular the politics of place and space-  the conjunction of power, money, land and ownership.


This installation, Yield, assembles around the central work on linen (Proposition Towards the Northern Tops (Yield), which was a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, 2016.
This work is framed symmetrically by draped fabric banners, and flanked to one side by a cluster of vernacular markers and wayfinders.  Three sequin-covered PVC rats appear to crouch in a ratking on top of a gold fabric covered box.
In this work I wanted to explore the breadth and porosity around ideals of sovereignty(of land, occupation and power)- including formal and resistance, vernacular and classical.



‘Profiteer Chic’ @ Artereal Gallery 5-29th July

Profiteer Chic

Artereal gallery,  747 Darling Street Rozelle.

Opening 5th July and continuing until 29th July.

This series of works is an extension from a body of work undertaken from 2016 which included Upsell (image:here), which was included in View @ Artereal Gallery, curated by Barbara Dowse and acquired by Artbank, and Yield (Proposition for a Panorama Towards the Northern Top) (image:here) a finalist in the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, and Peak, (image:here) a current finalist in the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, until mid July.

Profiteer Chic takes as its starting point a single small painting by a nineteenth century, Sydney based former-convict and amateur artist, George Peacock. The painting looks along Sydney Harbour from Garden Island, towards the emerging city. The artist was a middleclass English convict; a lawyer transported for the white collar crime of document forgery, which he undertook to fund the appearance of success in his community[1]. The contemporary manifestations of the themes contained within this small painting are reflected in all the works in the show.

Profiteer Chic, installation view, Artereal gallery, Sydney, 2017

While undertaking initial research for Profiteer Chic, I was drawn to this small painting because it appeared to bracket the marks of colonialism, economy and trade, between the ships, soldiers and emerging city of Sydney. This single image offered potential to negotiate  thoughts on the contemporary manifestations of these concerns, through the history of Australian colonisation. This path also allowed potential to integrate my ongoing interest in notions of the landscape sublime/ anti-sublime, alongside an increasing interest in the politics of urban space.

I was especially interested in mapping the territory between historic colonialism, as seen in the British ‘settlement’ of Australia, with it’s hierarchies of power, control of trade, assumptions of ownership and abuse of authority, to contemporary acts of economic colonialism undertaken by global corporations, in particular those operating within Australia. 

The term ‘extractive economies’ was brought to light by Acemoglu and Robinson (2)  in describing the national economies that base their productivity on non-renewable resources (such as oil and gas), and where there is a tendency for consolidation of the obtained income into the hands of the few rather than redistributed for national good.

penelope Cain Amazon

The day that Amazon Came to Town, 2017. PCV shape, sequins, mega-glitter. 32 x 9 cm

In my research I wanted to test the notion that extractive economics is in fact another version of colonialism. In this I drew on imagery such as deep-sea oil rigs, monocle telescopes and oval portrait frames. The title of the exhibition is a tongue-in-cheek riff on this line. That there is a chic to making profit goes without saying in the contemporary economic environment, yet I’m interested in the slight tarnish to the word ‘chic’ , and tried to play this up with the use of mini-discoballs, glass beads and sequins.

penelope cain profiteer chic

Profiteer Chic 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads. 93 x 130 cm

I see this body of work partly as a process of mapping of the terrain I’ve described above, and partly as a type of testing of the proposition. It is equally, though, a small act of resistance. I am deeply concerned by the environmental and economic vandalism surrounding the Adarni mine development, the ease with which corporations such as BHP, Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell avoid paying tax and royalties for oil, gas and mineral extraction in Australia.

penelope cain pump it up

Pump it up and just keep dancing, 2017 uv cured digital print on acrylic and linen, fibreglass mesh, dyed rooster feathers, thread, pencil. 130 x 133 cm


Pump It Up (Detail)

In Pump It Up And Just Keep Dancing two oil rigs are overlaid into a small fragment of Peacock’s scene of Sydney Harbour. They are intentionally shaped to reference the sails of the trade ships in the harbour. I keep returning to fibreglass mesh as a material because of its shadowy present/ absent effect- it looks like a negative or after-image, yet is so materially present on top of the linen. The two figures on the left side have been reworked from the original painting so that they appear to be looking at the rigs.

Profiteer Chic (detail) UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads.

In Profiteer Chic I used a slice from Peacocks work to create an even tighter view along the harbour, adding more ships, and created a circular hole in the middle of the canvas, with a second layer glued underneath. I wanted to create an idea of looking through a telescope, much like the view from the captain’s brig. I was striving to refer to notions of power of land ownership implicit through the history of European landscape art. The text “profiteer chic’ is covered in glass beads so it glistens on top of the image.

penelope cain

Ballsy (from the Anatomy of Power series) , 2017. Disco balls, nylon netting, telescope, microbeads, ribbon. Approx 40 x 9 x 8 cm. Installation view.

The telescope and the act of power through the gaze is again drawn on in #45 (from the Anatomy of Power series), where a childrens telescope, covered in glittery microbeads is paired with net-covered discoballs to look a little bit like male genitalia. In using the microbeads I was hoping for a material effect that looked bit like crusted sand or even slightly crusty skin cells. The title refers obliquely to Donald Trump (president #45), the ultimate profiteer.

Business As Usual 2017. UV cured digital print on linen, glass beads. Triptych installation view



For the last 2-3 years I have been using the technique of referencing, reflecting and collaging historic landscapes combined with flyscreen mesh and feathers to navigate my interest in the built urban landscape, notions of ‘the city’ and the nodes of economic and spatial power that occur in the city and urban environment (ie the politics of urban space). I am also interested in notions of the landscape sublime, and how it permits the potential for the anti-sublime. In this I reference Robert Smithson and his ‘Tour of the Monuments of Passiac’.

Through all my work this year I have become increasingly interested in the propositional performability of commerce within the city, and its gendered nuances. I hope to pursue this further in new research.


Geroge Peacock, Sydney From Garden Island, 1846, State Library NSW

 [1] G.E. Peacock, Trove Database, National Library of Australia
[2] “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty” by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

Finalist, Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award

 PEAK has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, opening friday 19th.

This work is one of 90 finalists, selected from over 850 applications.

@ Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, 782 Kingsway, Gymea NSW, 20th May- 16th July 2017.

PEAK (installation view) , 2017 photocopy pasteup, fabric, pole, feathers, beads, cord. 1.8 w x 2.2

This work takes as its pivot point a 19th century lithograph of the Blue Mountains, by landscape painter Eugene von Guerard, to ask questions around forms of economics and power in the city, through the lens of the European history of landscape art, notions and values of the sublime in art, and British colonisation.

Collaging the shadow of a scaffolded highrise onto the top of the Blue Mountains panorama recontextualises and provisionally updates the depicted landscape, reflecting the contemporary housing gold rush in urban Australia, and the rush to expand to undeveloped land. The work co-opts the gesturing male figure in von Guerard’s orginal work (commonly included in romantic sublime landscapes of the era), to reflect on gestures of ownership of land, in particular gendered ownership and the performance of the economy.

The quasi-symbolic banner in mesh and fabric ambiguously conflates references to marches and parades or even more darkly, rituals and rites, with the actions of commerce and urban development, including the holey dollar symbol of Macquarie Bank (originally from Governor Macquarie’s counter punched Spanish silver coins), gold and brass bugle beads and black strung roster feathers.

The work ambiguously twists the materiality of ‘the street’ and resistance, to reveal the power status quo- banks, property development and other hegemonic power nodes.

Detail: PEAK pasteup, 2017


Holey dollar, New South Wales, 1813

This work is, to a degree, a small act of resistance and is part of an ongoing interest in slippages, power and performance of commerce within the city.


Eugene von Guerard, Wetherboard Falls, lithograph, (State Library NSW). This image was part of a printed folio of landscape panoramas around NSW and Victoria sold to colonists and exported to Britain at the time.

HOWLING AT THE MOON…. @ Artereal Gallery

New work at Artereal Gallery opened 7th Sept….

HOWLING AT THE MOON is a paired pasteup and a flyscreen mesh work on linen operating in dialogue between the street and the gallery.

7th Sept- 1st Oct

Artereal Gallery

747 Darling Street, Rozelle


HOWLING AT THE MOON installation detail, photocopy pasteup, 2016

2016 seems to have shaped up as a year of geopolitical anxiety. Locally and globally events have been occurring that are unhappy, unanticipated, inexplicable or unwanted. The politics of a double dissolution, Brexit, Trumpism, ISIS- the list goes on.

Initially in response to the increasingly anxious events I tried to disengage and stop paying attention- to *unsubscribe* and instead engage with human interest narratives, word plays and even kitten videos.

Instead, after the kitten videos finished I found myself watching animal fights and politicians’  shenanigans. So I decided to metaphorically pick the scab, and make a work about the current moment of anxiety in contemporary culture, a response to the seemingly irreconcilable conflicting forces in society, politics and the economy.

HOWLING AT THE MOON is this work.

howling install smaller

HOWLING AT THE MOON installation view. Photocopy pasteup, 3.2x 1.5m, 2016


In this lo-fi pasteup, using images from the internet and sourced photos, the (human) hands of a clock, constructions sites, politicians and traffic jams are circumscribed by police, armies and shamanic raven feathers. This half moon of anxiety is flanked by a chained wolf and a caged dingo, howling from the outside to that within.


buy in smaller

Buy In Sell Out fibreglass mesh, fabric, spraypaint, feathers, thread on linen, 70 x 100CM, 2016

The paired work, Buy-In-Sell-Out is made from fibreglass mesh, spraypaint and black feathers, on linen, and uses related imagery- rendering a juxtaposition of wolf and bear heads, snake skeletons, building scaffolding and fragments of jewellery in fibreglass mesh, combined with theatrically shamanic black feathers and a spray paint gash. The text, ‘buy in’ and the matching title, has an intentional dual meaning- referring both to straightforward and common fiscal transaction/s, or an emotional response- being sold a story.


buy in DETAIL

Buy In Sell Out: detail

buy in sell out installation

Buy In Sell Out Installation image