Place Works

Bronwyn Wright's work has closer links to the stealth associated with graffiti artists and the flamboyant play of the theatre than to large scale earthworks. It is based on intimacy with the site, daily visits, observations of seasonal variations and an anonymous interaction of dialogue with a young sub-culture. The ruined cars which adorn the site of 'The Swamp' where Wright works are symbolic mediators between earth and technological man. The car bodies wear away, crumple and disintegrate as the land itself is torn and worn and as our own bodies tire and retire.

My work has closer links to the stealth associated with graffiti artists and the flamboyant play of the theatre than to large scale earthworks. It is based on intimacy with the site, daily visits, observations of seasonal variations and an anonymous interaction or dialogue with a youth sub-culture.

Over the last twelve years, with my dogs, I have visited a 'wasteland' on the edge of Darwin's northern suburbs known locally as 'The Swamp'. For the young men and boys in the prime of their suburban warriorhood it's a place to spin out in old cars, or stolen cars, 4WDs or on motorbikes. Plenty of active 'circle work' - donuts and burnouts, are part of the energy of the Swamp. The Swamp is littered with the wreckages of blackened, crumpled metal bodies and disintegrating, abandoned cars.

The yellow clay flat is a level area of clay between the tidal mudflat and the scrub that was excavated and scraped away by heavy machinery years back. To me the flat is a living canvas regularly revitalised by all who visit it. My work becomes a form of land painting in the land. One must be persistent and non-precious about the work because it can change at any time. In my absence many take part in its transformation.

Looking is a form of interaction. Kicking, bashing, splashing mud on the abandoned cars is an interaction with the cars and the environment. I interact with the car bashers, the hoons and the elements. When I paint or mark a car consistently over a period of time the kicking, bashing, looking, and splashing mud by others is also an interaction with me. The wind, tropical sun and rain are also protagonists. Reflections of cars, sky and clouds in puddles of water, embrace and include light as a participant protagonist. We are enveloped in changing light. This is our environment. This is our shared space.

Eventually the car bodies return to the earth. The cars in their various stages of transformation are symbolic mediators between earth and technological man. The car bodies wear away, crumble and disintegrate as the land itself is torn and worn and as our own bodies tire and retire.

One sees so clearly the earth in process as the car bodies in the Swamp rust and break down. Here is a cycle of renewal. Yearly I witness the ongoing cycles - birds migrating, breeding, singing and displaying; tidal activity, flooding and drying. Equinoxes and solstices, the traversing sun and moon and the journeys of cars. Car bodies returning to the earth. Ash to ash; dust to dust. Earth to metal, metal to earth.

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