Virginia Rigney

Curator, Gold Coast City Gallery


This project, developed by artists Alana Hampton and Marian Drew, invites their audience to experience an amplified vision of mangrove wilderness. This place, frequented by few, is a precious fragment of a living ecological lung on the fringe of one of the fastest growing urban conflagrations in Australia.

Their collaboration has been shaped by the visceral and physical challenges of making art work in the w et darkness, negotiating the conceptual and aesthetic choices shaped intimately by the unerring movement of tides and moon and the less predictable vagaries of weather and equipment. They have shared pragmatic and logistical challenges as well as those of an aesthetic nature; the rhythm and timing of light painting, the exploration both above and below the water line to find shapes, forms and compositions, and then the transferal of this raw material into an edited form, screened around in a space. The act of art making has been all of these things; navigating, mooring, paddling, taking photographs, lighting, filming, editing, recording sound, trailing the projections, writing and installing.

They have also invited others to contribute to the project; environmental scientist Sally Kirkpatrick, Traditional Owner and anthropologist Michael Aird, writer Alison Kubler, designer Daniel Sala, photographer and film maker Alex Chomicz and video and sound editor Genevieve Reynolds. The confluence of their knowledge, work to build layers of meaning and associations both within the gallery space and also on the accompaining DVD, catalogue and Education kit.

The resulting immersive set of moving images and sound do not attempt to simply replicate the sensations and experience of being on this island that is twice daily washed through by the sea. The name Lorikeet Island, may be a fiction – you will not find it on any map, but in re-imagining it they have constructed a very real new place and physically slowed us down to look harder and find new ways of seeing into this ostensibly impenetrable and once maligned mangrove environment. Gold Coast City Gallery has been delighted to work with these artists and their collaborators and to present this work for the first time to our community.