Oct 2013: ‘Fox’ opening @ Other space

I was invited to exhibit at Other space, an ARI-style project run by contemporary artist Sue Beyer in the regional town of Blackbutt, Queensland. The only proviso to show here is that you address the idea of ‘Other’ in the work that you show.

I started thinking about this and how it could connect to my work on Australian extinct and endangered bird species. European colonisation of Australia and the introduction of feral animal species (black rats, foxes, rabbits, pigs, cats, dogs, camels, goats etc.) is generally seen as being largely responsible for the extinction and endangerment of many Australian birds. Being a rural community, the fox is a part of life in the town of Blackbutt. The works shown at Other space were designed to create a contemporary dialogue with locals about the long-term unseen problems of predicted mass species extinctions, introduced species, and the difficulties in recognising and finding solutions to these critical  issues.

The fox photos, a portrait and an interior landscape, were displayed in the window of Other Space without didactics, encouraging people to question what the images might mean in relation to their own experiences with foxes and their landscape. A video of my bird research process ‘Fieldwork (SA) 2013’ was also exhibited, to encourage connections between the relationship of feral animals like the fox to our extinct Australian birds. The video takes the viewer on the same journey I see when working in the zoological archive lab space. This is a view most people will never see, as many zoological research collections are often limited to scientific researchers, or those associated with academic research institutions. The video is part of my ongoing post-graduate practice-led research project with RMIT.

The opening on Friday 25 October had a great local turnout, with  lively discussion arising between the people at the opening on a variety of issues raised in the works. This was the first exhibition for an invited artist to be held at Other Space .

Heartfelt thanks to Sue for the opportunity to show these works at Other space, and for the many locals who came and spoke their own stories and thoughts last night.


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