A companion exhibition to the Ephemeral Art Project Residencies, artistic collaborations, community engagement and new ties in the lead up to the Burra Ephemeral Art Trail launch Sunday April 17 at 3pm
Reflecting on the past, the Down to Earth collective (Lis Jones Ingman, Felicity Martin, Russell Philip and Lisa Smedley) have recreated the Jubilee Trail, a tree-lined walk, through five historical markers, connecting each of the other artworks and leading people through the town. A hundred and sixty years ago Burra was the third largest town in Australia, due to the copper mine on the hill. Along the creek at its base intrepid miners developed rent-free housing for their families. Dug into the banks of “Creek Street”, these underground structures, some with up to eight rooms, sprouted chimneys dotting the edge of the main road. The road linked the different parts of town, the mine and its buildings, and the busy family dwellings.
At the beginning of the trail, Gail Hocking creates a ghostly forest of branches, embedded in the dry creek bed. Her installation calls on the history of the creek, home to both Indigenous people and early miners at various points in time.
At the Market St bridge Annabelle Collett celebrates regeneration, and the challenge of making do. ‘Elements of Surprise’ celebrates the history of the bridges of Burra. Decorating this historical site with bright, eye-catching elements and woven patterns draw the passer-by’s attention to the elements of this bridge. The use of recycled plastics to create these decorative elements reflects the bridge’s history of regeneration.
Henry Jock Walker and Alex Bishop-Thorpe focus their work on the community of the present. Walker brings the town together to create a live painting machine, each member of the community who takes part in the performance becoming a cog in the apparatus. The resulting abstract work takes shape under the hands of the group, through an energetic outpouring of energy and paint. This reflects the spirit of the town, its live, beating heart. Bishop-Thorpe reflects the image of Burra back at itself. Using antiquated techniques to capture a long-exposure image of the town, Bishop- Thorpe captures not one moment but many in the week-long photographic exposure. It is a ghost image, though the permanent features of the town are clear: the architecture, the creek, while the people who pass in front of the camera appear as transparent apparitions.