Deterioration of Memory and Matter explores the relationship between the idea of colonisation and Australia’s natural environment.
English settlers colonised the land in 1788, bringing with them their familiar customs and way of life. Over time their destructive practices have gradually decayed Australia’s unique bush, rock and coral, however, the idea of colonisation has slowly deteriorated as well due to the influence of Australia’s harsh environment.
The fragility of porcelain in my work reflects the delicate relationship between the idea of colonisation and Australia’s natural elements. Inspired by Penny Byrne and Claudia Fontes, the porcelain Meissen figures symbolise colonisation and represent a nostalgia for England.
The blue, white and gold reflect the colour of these mass-produced Meissen figures while also reflecting the colours of the ocean. The gold details aim to subtly acknowledge The Australian gold rush era, a key point in Australia’s history that had a profound impact on the country’s national identity.
The pocked surfaces on the figures, that resemble organic matter, engulf and distort their shape and identity. From a vibrant blue to off-white, the figures deteriorate in colour demonstrating the dissolving idea of colonisation.
Delicate blue and gold porcelain pieces that resemble coral, influenced by Noriko Kuresumi, colonise the figures but they too lose beauty through their deteriorating colour. The loss of colour, shape and form of the figures shows the influence of Australia’s environment on the English identity within this country and the gradual decay of colour in the coral reflects the environmental issue of coral bleaching.
My 2D work is inspired by Kai Wasikowski and comments on how Australia’s environment has been influenced by colonisation, while also exploring the decaying nature of the idea of colonisation.
With eyes appropriated from an old English portrait, the central figure symbolises the influence of colonisation on Australian identity as well as showing how people to the environmental problems within this country by only seeing the world around them. The figure holds her hands to her throat symbolising the decaying ideology of colonisation while also symbolising how Australia’s natural environment is gasping for life.