Refugia (2009)
3 screen installation : Stereo
Mildura Regional Arts Centre

Refugia was a 3 way collaboration between myself, John Wosleley and Siobhan Murphy comprising a video installation, a large-scale installation comprising a number of works on paper and a dance performance. Together they combined to celebrate a region that has been significantly under-represented in the cultural life of Victoria - the Mallee - a place that has always been a metaphor for struggle, heartbreak and hardship. Refugia was envisaged as a means of contributing to our understanding of this complex and fragile environment, and expanding cultural imaginings of the relationship of humans to this place. The work was shown at the Mildura Regional Arts Centre with John and my own installation forming two roughly hemi-spherical shapes that faced each other and formed a central space in which Siobhan presented performances of the solo dance work she had devised for the piece at set times throughout the Palimsest Festival and also during the weekend in we had a our opening. This was the first occasion that my Mallee works had been shown in the region despite having been seen elsewhere in Australia and around the world and the reception and support we received from the Mildura Arts Centre was great.

We developed this work by undertaking trips into the Murray Sunset National Park and working on site to produce the raw material that later become the final works. For my part whilst the really challenging aspects were trying to act as a bridge between the live dance work and the completely static 2 dimensional works, to some degree I had to put my installation at the service of the collaboration to try and tie it all together. The simultaneous editing of the three tracks that made up my installation was also a steep learning curve and freed up the way I have worked with synchronised video tracks subsequently. It was wonderful working so closely with John Wolseley and Jenny Long, his partner and a key force in bring this collaboration to fruit.