Gathering Geographies, curated by Mara Schwerdtfeger, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney NSW

Installation view, documentation by Zoe Baumgartner

4 x Photographs  
Film A Love Letter to the North

An extract from Mara Schwerdtfeger’s curatorial essay, which can be read here

What influence does the Earth’s movements have on how we gather, act, and move through space? Does it shape our creativity? How does it inform how we document and archive? Can weather, time and material resources communicate with us?

Carving out a space for movements, imprints, and textures of anthropologic and environmental research, twelve artists have been invited to present works as a way of Gathering Geographies. The artists come together to invert and reflect on these questions through sculpture, sound, video, photography, writing and dance.

The Earth functions as “a site of construction,”1 a source of inspiration, and a material library from which we can collect, interpret, and transform. A tension forms as we “bring life to it”1 for better and worse. The Earth passes the threshold of our bodies, influencing how we create story, history and knowledge. In relinquishing control, what can the practice of art making teach us about the Earth and its vast ecosystem of interactivity?

Through the constructed world of the exhibition, scenarios, communications, and transformations tempt and speculate a coexistence of species and landscapes. Perspectives are tested, vibrations move us, observations are noted, and recycling is initiated. In accumulating these investigations, this essay will break down the grounding ideas behind Gathering Geographies and place the exhibited works in-line with this thinking.


Playground, curated by Nina White, QCA Project Gallery, Brisbane Qld


Memory quilt,  Silk, cotton, denim, cotton thread, plants

This hand-sewn quilt is made of the red-dirt and sunscreen-stained clothes that I wore during 14 months of field research with Aboriginal Traditional Owners, settler-descended cattle graziers and Queensland Park and Wildlife Service rangers on Kuku Thaypan, Lama Lama, Olkola and Guugu Yimithirr country in Cape York, far north Queensland. These clothes were sweated in, stained, torn and stretched as I mustered cattle, lit fires, fixed fences, surveyed mangroves, cleaned toilets, planted trees, made sausages and talked. I felt unable to part with them and during the early days of the pandemic I slowly stitched the clothes together, combining them with scraps of silk I had dyed with flowers and leaves collected on Guugu Yimithirr country. My first quilt and first real sewing project, this quilt is evocative of the time and labour invested in forming bonds with people and landscapes.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the stolen-never-ceded lands I live, work, and think on, the Wurundjeri people.