Under the Pier

Under the Pier was an installation comprising a huge plaster-covered mound of sand, scattered with leaves that I dipped in blue plaster; humidifiers to intensify the moisture in the air and to help the plaster crystallise; and vibrant red thread wrapped around the heavy wooden pillars of the gallery space.

During a residency in The Gunnery, I researched the colonial history of the building and the local area, Woolloomoolloo. Located on land reclaimed from the sea, it is adjacent to a working naval base and a long industrial pier. The plaster and mortar for the buildings of colonial Sydney came from shells collected and burned by convicts to create lime. Those shells, scattered around the foreshore of the harbour, were Aboriginal middens.

The knowledge that the tide would once have washed over the gallery floor informed the materials I used and their placement. I experimented with the transformative qualities of plaster, in combination with sand, grasses, woollen fabrics and colourful dyes.

The work wove a web of relationships between inside and outside, ground and structure, history and hearsay.

Under the Pier was made and exhibited  during a residency at Artspace, Sydney in 1996.

Artspace, Sydney
mixed media
Documents | PDFS
1. Essay by Jacqueline Millner