Follow by Email

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The journey begins


In 2006 I really started this series about the Yarra River, which winds its way through the inner city suburbs around where I live in Melbourne. I had just finished my Masters of Fine Art, in which I had focused on projection installations and light as a medium. After such a project, I wanted to connect again with tangible mediums and explore themes that are deeply relevant to myself and the wider community.



Katie Roberts Birrarung Dreams (Detail) Copyright 2006
Dimensions: 50 x 31cm Ink, pencil and pastel on 100% cotton watercolour paper.


I was drawn back to my feeling for the Australian land, its unique character and ancient energy. I began wandering along the banks of the Yarra River after taking my son to school everyday. Here the river is wide and brown, and slides between cliffs of ancient sea bed on one side, and the flatter lava flow turned to bluestone that most of Melbourne is built on. In the inner city suburbs of Collingwood, Abbotsford and Clifton Hill I discovered some beautiful places and contrasting scenery of industry, nature and historic buildings. These places are close to the city, yet they retain some beautiful bushland and I felt a deep sense of the land and its layered history. It was at once invigorating on physical, soul and artistic levels. I started making art and taking photos on these walks as well as contemplating the land and its history, gaining what I feel is a deeper sense of the spirit of the place.



Katie Roberts Abbotsford Convent Copyright 2006
Graphite of canvas board.

Below is the key piece from the first show of the series The Yarra Drawings 2006. It is a small work on paper and depicts an areal view of the area including the suburbs of Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Fairfield to the Horsehead Bend at Ivanhoe. Layered into the work are various elements including a geological diagram of the landforms, details of the sales of the land when the area was first carved up for subdivisions and a map of streets and the modern landscape which is literally cut into the surface of the paper. In the top left hand corner the moon is seen rising over Dight's Falls. Through the combination of all these elements Birrarung Dreams incorporates various cultural perspectives and times into the one contemporary view of the landscape, revealing the scars of its history.


Katie Roberts Birrarung Dreams Copyright 2006
Dimensions: 50 x 31cm Ink, pencil and pastel on 100% cotton watercolour paper.

No comments:

Post a Comment