Photography by Irena Conomos
Over several of my artist-in-residencies at Hill End, I developed this series of works as a direct response to the surrounding landscape. Its stratification, the colours locked deep within the earth and the traces and marks I encountered on the ground surface prompted this exploration.
I was given permission to photograph a drill core sample. It was fascinating to witness the way the systematic collection of samples placed in trays standing on trestles, represented a depth of 200 metres underground. I was struck by the beauty of these layers of earth normally invisible to the eye; I wanted to bring forth the efficacy of such seemingly simple measures.
The picket fences that peppered and framed the empty landscape of Hill End, I saw as standing guard to our past histories – occupation and repossession of land became a constant vision.
I would get up early to catch the morning light and at the end of the day felt blessed to see the sun setting just outside my studio, Murray Cottage. It inspired a series of panoramic works based on the idea of myriorama, or imaginary landscapes, drawing a line between the sky, earth, reality and imagination as the endless source of these various encounters.
I could not dissociate wandering and drawing. My drawing practice is about my different encounters with the landscape.
Hill End is a perfect drawing subject with its multiple fences in all shapes and forms, the Turon River, and the multiple remnants of a past history of the gold rush. it felt like writing in some sort of language and probably more so in the format of a continuous 16 metres scroll.
Photography: Irena Conomos