At the opening of 5 Miles from the Sea
The exhibition 5 Miles from the Sea opened on April 19 at Level 17 Artspace which is part of Victoria University. Twelve artists responded to the brief, creating new work in a variety of mediums: painting, photography, drawing and sculpture.
Curator Geoff Tolchard proposed the exhibition in the following terms: “Five Miles from the Sea is a look at the incursion of non-indigenous Australians and their resulting mark on the land. Who lives five miles from the sea? What does it look like though the eyes of twelve diverse artists, some from different parts of the globe, who have indeed made Australia their home? Each of the participating artists will visually interpret, in a medium of their choosing, a reference point that is five miles from the sea, illuminating what is now a multicultural land, a society that is twenty-first century Australia”
The artists have explored issues of Australian history and identity using a specific geographical location as a starting point. Terri Brooks has made a sculpture based on the site of the notorious treaty between John Batman and the local Aborigines in 1835. Caz Guiney has made jewelry from discarded plastic found at a various parks – “waste remains one of our most significant marks on the land.” And Kirsten Perry has explored Dights Falls as “a place where a number of forces converge and divide” – sandstone/lava, saltwater/freshwater, indigenous/introduced.
The website for the exhibition is www.fivemilesfromthesea.com, designed by George Alamidis. It contains images by each artist, as well as an artist statement explaining their approach to the exhibition concept.