Annabel Nowlan: bugger
Links Gallery: 16 April - 30 May 2010
bugger on display in the Links Gallery, 2010
What thoughts and experiences does the well-used everyday expression 'bugger' conjure up for you? As an ubiquitous part of the rural vernacular, it's a word that's used in many different contexts: frustration, disappointment, anger, illness and bad luck. As a title for this exhibition, bugger explores the nuances and personal aspects of man's struggle for survival and domination over the land. Loneliness, isolation and uncertainty are part of both the historical and present day challenges of life on the land; but there's also resilience, resourcefulness, humour and compassion.
These are recurrent themes in Annabel Nowlan's works that explore the personal histories behind the Soldier Settler schemes in rural Australia, using material gathered from visits to actual sites as well as historical and archival texts. Bugger presents a group of mixed media works by Nowlan from the past ten years, which have their foundation in her long and personal connection with the land. The many years spent working on the family farm at Bimbi, 30km west of Grenfell, have been a major inspiration for this exhibition.
The artist states: 'I'm attracted to the unique markings of repetitious human and animal activity on the land, the allure of weatherworn materials, and the beauty in what is often considered mundane. Inspiration is found in everything from second-hand materials, fencing patterns, jerrybuilt construction, and erosion scars, to colourful colloquial slang.' Through the manipulation of recycled and unrefined materials such as flattened tin, old patched tarpaulin, and tarnished copper, the artist translates these unique stories into their own visual narratives. There is also acknowledgement of the Indigenous connection to country that exists at a spiritual level.
Annabel Nowlan, Drover's wife lll, 2006, mixed media on aluminium
When: Saturday, 24 April 2010, 2.00-4.00pm
Where: Wagga Wagga Art Gallery