Archives: bushlands

DawnRoe_700

A kind of dark beauty: art, melancholia & narrative

Art alum Dawn Roe has an exhibition — Goldfields – at The White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland. In her words, here is the story behind Goldfields, as well as the ideas that permeate and prompt her work.

by Dawn Roe

This work came into being during my time as Artist-in-Residence at the Visual Arts Centre of LaTrobe University in Bendigo, VIC, Australia. I arrived in the region (known as The Goldfields) without a preconceived idea about what I might do while there, so these intersections between the opposing perspectives of indigenous and colonial settler narratives, pastoral landscape representations, folklore and myth, became a kind of starting point for the project.  I was very conscious of the fact that I was an outsider to this space and not personally tied to its history.  But at the same time, I did feel an affinity to the bushlands in the same way most of us have a familiar response to the forest in general, largely due to the myths that permeate these spaces – both folkloric and personal.  So I chose to simply respond to the space while considering these layers, thinking equally about how various interactions within the region impacted the landscape both physically and metaphorically – the gold mining being paramount of course, but also the very rich indigenous narratives that remain overwhelmingly present in the form of rock formations, lookout points and the myths attached to natural fauna, birds and other animals.

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