This artwork arises from a series of pauses, halts and failures. Whilst conceiving and creating the work for this exhibition, the mobile world as we know it slowly came to a halt. Planes ceased flying, cruise ships became stranded, trains stopped, grey nomads returned home, and collectively we became still. For a long time, my practice has engaged with mobility, specifically in relation to leisure travel, so witnessing and being part of this slowing down has directly influenced this work.
When considering the theme of ‘occupied’, my original plans for this exhibition involved making large scale rubbings that spanned the country: rubbing the front and back of the Indian Pacific train at the start and end of its journey across Australia; rubbing a pair of similarly geographically spread airplane wings; and a rubbing at the westernmost point of mainland Australia. Slowly, each of these options became impossible as travel became restricted.
Therefore, this work reflects on the contracting of travel and is made not at a remote campsite, or on a moving train, but instead in the quite space of my home studio. It uses the materials and marks of two types of travel; flight charts and camping tables. The camping tables are part of a collection that I have amassed over several years, each one marked by their life on the road, scuffed and scratched from being packed and unpacked. The flight charts, that in this work make up a map of Australia, have also been collected over the years, gifted to me by my brother, a now unemployed commercial airline pilot.
Whilst perhaps seeming overly nostalgic for more mobile times, this work is really about examining the marks of mobility whilst being attentive to the various registers of staying still.