Country 2011
Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, Australia

James Darling & Lesley Forwood, Country, 2011, 3.5 tonnes Mallee roots, 11.25 x 4.75 x 0.45 m

Artist Statement

From the particular to the general, from the personal to the universal, “Country” is about environmental Australia.

The exhibition explores the contradictions and dichotomies between the legal design of cadastral ownership and the custodial responsibilities entailed in the recognition of landscape process.  .

The shape of the installation is determined by the cadastral/mapping boundaries of the land which is owned and managed by the artists, (7,500ha, 18,500 acres).

The installation is aligned to the 4 points of the compass in the gallery as it is on the ground midway between Keith and the Coorong in the upper south east of SA.

It is built to scale and extends across a catchment and a watercourse. The horizontal and vertical scales are deliberately different.

The images speak of 4 elements: earth, air, fire and water. All images come from the land that is “Country”.

“Country” includes Gum Lagoon Conservation Park (GLCP), the line on the floor that encircles Duck Island. The artists co-operatively manage DI native vegetation and GLCP as a single entity under a Cooperative Environmental Management Agreement.

GLCP is 8,765ha, (21,660 acres).  Duck Island has 3240ha (8,000 acres) of native vegetation.