penelope cain artist

Rewilding

New work for the curated show, Rewilding, March 2021, Sydney

(Curated by anthropologist, Sky Hugman and curator, Ann Proudfoot)

Link to catalogue essay: HERE

Thinking over the last 12 months documenting the post-fire landscape in the Blue Mountains.

This show was the first opportunity to reflect on the photographic material Ive accumulated over the last 12 months.

Above: Spruik (bells and whistles) Dye sublimation print on fabric, trimmings, bells. 140 x 76cm.  2021

Im interested in the modes of pop-up care shelters that appear in times of environmental distress- the emergency services operation centre tents, showers and toilet tents, emergency housing tents. The highly provisional nature, the temporary territorialisation.

This aligns with an ongoing interest in fabric as banners used in marches – whether religious, political, or societies and groups; marching on streets and used in halls. This temporary territorialisation and implied embodiment. A flag is so often held by a hand.

Above: Installation view

Below: In May-June 2020 I made some forms, using oversized prints of some John Gould etchings of Black tailed wallabies, local to the area and threatened by the fire.  Integument and  Heterozygosity.

I was looking for a calling, or a manifestation of the animals that had gone.

Below: Installation view.

Using webbing straps, ratchets, hooks, alongside fringing, feathers and bells. Like a pop-up spellcasting.

12 months of the landscape in the Blue Mountains.

It was a privilege to observe the new forest arise from the old as the months progressed. The new forest is one of fire resistance, bred over centuries and fit for the Anthropocene. Old-world plants with no genetic fire survival strategies have no space in this new forest. Its a future landscape here now.