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Clearance (part of the Promised Land Project)

"Clearance" is a multi-map-based installation that arises from my interest in the fraught relationship between consumerism and ecology. Cartographic conventions and multiple editions of maps that document a rapidly changing landscape give form to the work. "Clearance" consists of 700 hand made shopping bags. Each bag is a folded topographic map of Australia. Collectively the bags line 86 metres of cantilevered rusted steel shelving, which can be wall mounted as a commercial display of goods or placed in parallel rows on the floor.The bags contain various material and contextual inserts, including geological samples, titles of books, journal articles, and science radio shows that all relate to cultural concepts of landscape, earth sciences and land development. The titles are all mirrored and reflect the viewer's engagement with the content of the work and centres them in the consumption of goods and services associated with the manipulation of earth. The titles are arranged in alphabetical order. They are highly conflicting in tone and oscillate between celebrating the taming and development of nature or warn of dire consequences if we as a species don't learn to curb our material appetites and desires. Hence the form of the shopping bag.The maps, titles, form of the shopping bags, and the extent of land coverage represented in the range of map sheets used is intended to provoke viewers to reconsider their connections to the land and the origins of everyday consumable goods. Many of the maps sheets are of different editions and the extent of land development over recent decades is astounding. The maps were donated by national institutions of education and research in the spirit of developing dialogue between the visual arts and science.


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