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Legends

"Legends" is a direct response to working in the field with geological mapping crews from the Geological Survey of Canada, the Australian National University, and the University of Western Australia. I spend hours, whether on foot, from the air, or by boat, scanning the land for particular outcrops. This is typically followed by colouring the Precambrian to Proterozoic rocks on newly created geological map sheets and all the while marvelling at how geological maps are used to pinpoint areas rich in minerals. I'm particularly intrigued with the coded colours on geological maps that correspond to specific tracts of land and the concept of legends located in the margins of each map that hold the key to interpreting the wild fields of colour. I've become increasingly aware of geological time in billions of years, the stratification of rocks of different ages, the movement of rocks through time, and how our survival is linked to our dependency on mineral resources. These concepts now inform my practice.The impetus for the construction of "Legends", these colourful towering steel columns, came from taking the abstract concept of legends, as keys to the content of geological map sheets, and developing them into sculptural objects. The colours here link with particular map sheets that mark the locations of iron ore mines in specific regions of Australia. The form of the steel units is a scaled up version of the colour coded legends on the maps. The repetition of a standard module is synonymous with contemporary architecture. The colours correspond exactly to those on the maps, but are actually common house paint colours.I have long held the belief that we are connected intimately to geological resources and that virtually everything we consume and handle today is manufactured using geological materials obtained through the creation of geological maps. To further develop the link between geological resources and consumerism, a parallel work of folded and pasted paper shopping bags was created from individual geological map sheets. The inside of each bag is lined with vinyl flooring made to resemble natural stone and plays on the cultural concept of landscape as an illusion and a construction. The bags are raised off the floor and rest on geological core samples. The maps were donated in the spirit of developing a link between art and science.

 
 
   
 

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