Bushman’s Recall

Virginia Hilyard and Sue Pedley

Bushman’s Recall is a large scale rubbing created jointly with Virginia Hilyard for the inaugural Cementa arts event at Kandos, NSW in 2013. The subject of the work is a cement fence built by Stan Grudzien, a worker in the former Kandos cement factory. It was exhibited in St. Dominic’s Church Hall.

In the summer of 2011, when we first saw the fence, it enclosed a maze of overgrown buildings, sculptures and an abandoned orchard. We were drawn to Stan Grudzien’s creative use of cement and his eccentric fence design.

While we were making the drawing, morning walkers and other passers by often stopped to ask what we were doing. Memories were triggered. We heard accounts of Stan making weekly bus journeys to Bathurst, returning with old gates and piles of other stuff, and of goats being seen on the roof after he once set fire to a date palm. 

As the rubbing continued, the cement wall revealed its history. Inscribed dates and initials emerged, rendered visible by the high contrast, negative rubbing process. Once the drawing was rolled out on the floor at St. Dominic’s Hall, it took on the form of a filmic scroll that could be read from any point along its length. More stories emerged as locals coming into the Hall for the first time since childhood recalled memories of their primary school days.

Cementa13, Kandos, NSW
paper, charchol, pencil
15,000cm x 800cm