C4RD presents a project by Juliana O’Dean: Ancient Earth, Fresh Ground. Coinciding with the Royal Academy’s exhibition of Australian landscape, Juliana will be taking up residence in the main gallery space to continue work on this project, and visitors during August will be able to meet with her and view the development of the work. Having made site drawings during July in Banffshire, Scotland, she will then process these responses to the terrain and create a body of work that references the site drawings.
“The concept of duality is an intellectual construct that invites the acts of comparison, reflection, realisation and discernment. It has been a significant thread connecting the various aspects of my artistic practice since the 1990’s. In a number of projects I have focussed on pairs of geographic sites as different as Manilla in NSW and the Pyrenees Mountains in France, and the Seine River in Paris and the Maribyrnong River in Melbourne.
The major project I am currently engaged in, Ancient Earth, Fresh Ground, is comprised of work from two creative disciplines with the tangible outcome of an exhibition and the making and publishing of a rare edition book. Through art and literature the project documents the current state of specific landscapes in Australia. One such landscape is the Manning Valley, a sub-tropical region in northern NSW. This area was settled from the 1820’s to the 1850’s, predominantly by Scots immigrant families who impacted the landscape significantly through clearing to develop farmland.
A natural progression from this project is to create a new and discreet body of work which is centred on making contemporaneous imagery in the 21st century of the two geographic regions, in Scotland and northern NSW, that these immigrants lived in and knew intimately. Through the act of drawing I am interested in recording, transposing, integrating, erasing, overlaying and constructing my experiences of these landscapes as visual and sensory imagery. The resulting drawings also act as structures in which the imagined, but unknown responses experienced by the immigrants may reside and possibly coalesce with my own as I repeat their journey in reverse.“
Juliana O'Dean, July 2013