Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Marian Drew 201
Artist Statement

Devonian Flesh: Swallowing the Cave

The rocks in these photographs are from West Australia's Kalbarri National Park, the Kimberley and Arnhem land. Most were formed in the Devonian Period, 350 million years ago, when oceans were rich in sea life and animals were just crawling out of the ocean to inhabit the land. To think about rocks is to think about the planetary time of earth's biological and geological evolution. Inextricably entwined, we now understand that evolving life changes the composition of the planet.

‘Landscape' is often represented as something apart from ourselves and yet it is an idea we carry with us, culturally forming our relationship to the natural world. Studying rocks sends one into the deep time of caves, onto mountains that once were sea beds, tracing continental drifts, and out into the broader universe. We can recognize earth's landscape in those rocky outcrops on the moon or in the sediments and basalt on Mars.

In Chinese and Japanese cultures, Gongshi andSuiseki rocks are appreciated for their beautiful evocative forms, at once, object and metaphor. Japanese rock gardens are sites of meditation. With a respectful nod to these traditions, I present these rocks within the western tradition of the still life. They were documented under sunlight in the landscape and through photographic processing fused onto another rock laid on a domestic table. The table and the rock are metaphoric propositions, a dialogue between inside and outside, micro and macro, the antithesis of the separated human and ‘other'. It is through this relocation and transmutation that I hope to draw attention to the ideas of ‘landscape' that we carry within, no longer another place but of one and the same.



Zen proverb... ‘If one finds a rock boring, it's not the rock's fault'.


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