University of Tasmania

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Papering Topographies

posted on 2023-05-26, 12:03 authored by Henderson, SJ
Papering Topographies is a site-specific painting installation designed for Sawtooth ARI, Launceston. Ink paintings on paper of geological structures, rock scree, trees and lichens are pasted directly onto the gallery walls. Architectural features and the white walls become grounds and framing devices for surfaces suggesting of a range of topologies. Ariel views, cliff edges, buttresses, wet crevices, dense forests and scree paths are referenced on long paper drops of implied three dimensional painted surfaces, with abrupt and connected tonal and colour transitions. High places, geology and exploring intimate encounters with natural environments through painting processes have been central to my visual arts practice. I am fascinated with how the material qualities of ink and paint might reflect perceptions and experiences of places. A range of visual strategies are used in Papering Topographies to negotiate ideas of local natural environments, with influences from Western landscape traditions (the scenic, the Sublime) and patterning derived from domestic interior design. The lichen is a life form composted of an algae and a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined qualities of the organism react differently then the separate. Hand printed lichen motifs in a half drop repeat pattern cover the southern wall, colours receding and advancing, reminiscent of colour field painting charts or floral wallpaper. The white wall spaces are activated as background extending around the Eastern corner where the wall becomes negative space between pictorial elements of cliff edges and rock formations. The architecture, white walls and the paintings become in dialogue, symbiotically creating the exhibition. Lichens are sensitive to environmental disturbances. The systematic patterning breaks down, lichens colonize other spaces, infiltrating the Sawtooth entry and Western gallery wall where black and white paintings of rock surfaces, scree and trees in 3 metre vertical drops extend the 14 metres gallery length. Two white framed gallery doors, green exit sign, light switches and the red fire extinguisher sign provide ruptures in the dark surfaces.



School of Creative Arts and Media


Sawtooth ARI

Event Venue

Launceston, Tasmania

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

Usage metrics

    Non-traditional research outputs



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