Document Sample
Intertidal_GOUGH Powered By Docstoc

        Julie Gough

    Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi

    10 May - 4 June 2005
Intertidal - artist statement
Julie Gough
May 2005

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi
3/75 Flinders Lane

Intertidal is an exhibition that visually articulates how I have been feeling since I left Australia in September 2001
for a year of residencies and since that date have undergone a non stop array of personal, employment and life
changing experiences.

The only constant in my life seems to be an endless sense of movement somewhat like the tides. This connection
with the seas and salt waters gives me some courage and much comfort and I feel its pull wherever I am. This is
likely why I am now living five house distances from the beach in Townsville.

I created my first significant Intertidal work in 2003 at ANU for the <ABSTRACTIONS> exhibition because this sense of being
pulled in different directions, living between and within varied states and places then conveyed and still best
conveys the mysteries of place, seeming coincidence and the relief and release of locating story and medium in
my everyday.

Some of the works in this exhibition are celebratory and peaceful renditions of my inner state of being, in flux,
between land and sea, not settled in new places, but testing waters and finding much. Other pieces that pair with
these emotive painted renditions are ink jet print critical responses to the commodification of Indigenous art and
process through the digitalisation of time, space and identities.

"Intertidal" is an exhibition, like those past, about me now navigating my reality. Consisting of reflections in to the
deep past of my self, family, ancestors and the means of materialising form there are also works about me now
and questions about the expectations of the art market.
Julie Gough
Lifebearer, 2005
Beach found pumice, brass wire, driftwood
100 x 60 x 34 cm
Acquired National Gallery of Victoria
Julie Gough                             Julie Gough
Drift, 2005                             Seam, 2005
Driftwood, nylon                        Beach found coal, nylon
130 x 90 x 20 cm                        130 x 90 x 15 cm
Acquired National Gallery of Victoria   Acquired National Gallery of Victoria
"Some commentary about the necklace works: Drift, Seam, Lifebearer and Raft and Transmitting Device
in my solo exhibition: Intertidal at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi 10 May – 4 June 2005”
Julie Gough May 2005

I like to think about what it means for me to make necklaces that are bigger-than-me; that are not necessarily beautiful
and not clearly necklaces either ... I ask is the traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace today a carefully
maintained sign of cultural continuity, connectivity, authenticity and authority and if so is this different to what it represented
200 years + ago ? - my answer is that I can't know what it once was and provided outside of my own time and perspective.
My use of macro [and maybe future micro scale works] are about that navigation of myself in my work =
physically challenging myself, my arms, my lifting, my body - around traditional practice, place, materiality and cultural
expectation of what something is used for/is supposed to "DO".

These floating medium necklace forms work for me as life Preservers ie: operating perhaps as memory retainers for
people on the edge (the peripheral me - the whole interstitial 'bit') . The wood and the pumice necklaces - "drift" and
"lifebearer” seem very much to me about returning home (to Tasmania) sometime. They are my evidence to me that I have
an emergency means - a facility - to make a craft tobring me home in the form of a necklace - a magical necklace. I feel I
can (in my mind's eye) walk into Townsville beach with these wrapped around me and float into the sea and wash up back
in North East Tasmania.

I feel that when I am collecting these materials - that if I lose almost everything of myself - even the possibility
of asking for help to return , If I cannot articulate my need in cogent language to explain my need to return - that I could still,
if I can stay near a beach - make the means of my return – these necklaces or a raft... My sense is that if I drowned with
these around me it would be in the arms of the sea and the maker of all necklaces and would be peaceful. I was rescued off
a rock I was stranded on off Rodrigues Island in 2002 - after near drowning - I so nearly drowned - was embraced by the
dark, warm drift downwards - that I don't fear or question the sea's ability to decide when
to take someone.

The pumice necklace has come out of land into fire (volcano) and into water [sea] to float back to land and be built into a
floating land - a kind of island - that could take me away. The coal necklace (SEAM) is also a bit elemental in material -
there is a lot of coal mined up in QLD - but I am unsure where this coal [ covered with barnacles and other sea life ] has
come from. I found it up here north of Townsville at lowest tide like black spots that seem/seam at first to be a mirage
of poor vision (black spot) yet announce a possibility of home and hearth to me - they are a source of warmth from fire and
in the water they are the firestick doused and "OUT" - I collect them and think about how my ancestor's firesticks have
not yet been entirely relit from flicker to full flame by us, their descendants.                  continues…
I feel afraid to light my coal necklace at this point in my life, I am unsure of the spirits of the dark and night that I would
have to encounter to be able to walk properly and cross into the two worlds that I have trained myself to tightrope
'between'. The coal necklace - the seam - is like the weighty lifeblood of ancestry - the coal black materiality of the
earth that I haven't answered nor perhaps recognised the call. The coal coming to me from the sea is a bit like a
reminder to face the land and remember responsibility to all sides of self - land and waters.

The necklace-like works operate as my imaginings of how to merge and move myself around (kind of like with time and
tide) back to from where I come. The necklaces are elemental ways of re-joining myself back to traditions that seem lost
in their recognisable popularised makings in my immediate family. The necklace and multiple object in my art forms (over a
decade) articulate my connection to a culture that did collect (and still does collect) to survive. Through repetition and
rhythm and staccato in my work a language of understanding place and being-ness is articulated and presented to
outsiders. In this way I offer viewers a way into forms such as necklaces - and materials provided by nature impact on
me, seem to urge me to spell out myself through them.

The Transmitting Device represents, for me, a means of sending my thoughts back to my people/the old people and
homeland and also it is by extension a Receiving Device for hearing back from home. It is an apparatus of
travel/communication through time and place - whether actual or providing for me the security of imagining possible what
this device promises to achieve - see website ( - see work "Time Capsules (Bitter
Pills)" that is a work about the all consuming (literally in that artwork) need to travel back to times of old people to feel
what it is/was like - to be THERE.

I made Time Capsules in the Eddystone Residency mid 2001 - whilst sitting on beach and grabbed a cuttlefish and
suddenly carved a pile of these tablets as though in a manic yet trancelike state ! - those pills evidenced/materialised this
desire for my impossible return to past of my imagining - where I could dive deftly for abalone, climb for possum, sing in
language that came out of country and sang true - unlike the tongue that I now speak that I suspect would have me killed
by my old people if they didn't see I was them. Word and voice wouldn't save me in my current form/manifestation (out of
man – sealer Briggs) - only action and evidenced/trace of recognised behaviour could rescue me from swift death. RAFT is
a raft - I feel great making things that are about movements and travel through real and imagined TIME/SPACE back to
Tasmania and to a place in Tasmania and a community of people there where I can be myself and it would be called home.

As an artist I am a outsider in my own culture/s - alwayslooking in or across at peoples/places/times and figuring
through art making my responses to being where I am and how or determining whether I wish to show that place I inhabit
='me' in relation to that other place (mainstream society) or whether I rework cultural matters from my own perspective.
Julie Gough                             Julie Gough
Land and Sky from Sea 1, 2005           Land and Sky from Sea 2, 2005
Oxides and inks on canvas               Oxides and inks on canvas
82 x 43 cm                              80 x 52 cm
Acquired National Gallery of Victoria   Acquired National Gallery of Victoria
Julie Gough
Transmitting Device, 2005
Lomandra longifolia, limpets
40 x 25 x 25 cm
Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough                      Julie Gough
Raft, 2005                       Raft, 2005
Driftwood, lomandra longifolia   Digital print on canvas
185 x 63 x 15 cm                 76 x 102 cm
Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough
Regeneration, 2005
bronze, eucalypt branch
approx. 200 x 8 x 20 cm
Julie Gough
Regeneration, 2005
Bronze, eucalypt branch

Regeneration is the result of an opportunity to work both indoors and outdoors at Chewton in the Victorian Goldfields in 2004 and
2005 courtesy of Andrea and Peter Hylands. Over a year of visiting that place I developed ideas as to what form an outdoor art work
could take that would not elementally disturb the environment of that area that is distinguishable by eruptions of quartz signalling
former alluvial mining activities.

The quartz brought ideas of memorial and memory, like bone it surfaces to reveal what is never totally concealed about the actions of
the past. I eventually placed quartz onsite adjacent to a state forest such a way that the elements would eventually regain their hold on
the form created to move and remove it from whatever story I invoked and impressed it into. Quartz is a magical and potent material
existing before and outliving human time. Sensing that this aspect of timelessness was central to my appreciation of the material
enabled me to understand into what form to configure the quartz. Nature to nature, place to place, within me I carry some knowledge,
some blood, some cultural memory of my ancestors.

One ancestor, Woretermoeteyenner, was a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman who travelled widely during her life, meeting and working
with people of many cultures through the first half of the 1800s. Woretermoeteyenner means a eucalypt leaf and I always feel strongly
connected to this ancestor in the presence of these majesterial beings. Before moving far north to Townsville I realised that a
representation of a Tasmanian eucalypt leaf would be an object, placed, left signalling my visit that I could ably make to leave behind
outside as an ephemeral marker in a marked place, from and of that region and yet also from deep within me, my story and past.

Regeneration is an activated form of the quartz installation that remains to wear at Chewton. This branch with its leaves seeming to
march upwards and out of a space is able to be carried and live indoors or out whilst it traces and takes me and my connections to
people and place onwards. The trail of six bronze eucalyptus leaves tracking up a length of timber provide a different means of
memorial than the more unstructured external quartz leaf that changes with every rain. The golden bronze of each leaf references also
the alluvial goldfields of Chewton and the alchemical magic of molten metal. Each cast leaf also traces the generations from
Woretermoeteyenner to me, the same leaf, our regeneration.

With sincere thanks to Andrea and Peter Hylands, Jean-Pierre Chabrol, Clive Willman and Ray for their ongoing assistance in the
creation, exhibition and relocation of this work to Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi.
Julie Gough
Promissory Note ~ Opposite Swan Island, 2005
Tea-tree, timber, string, fur
229 h x 240 w x 130 d cm
Acquired Flinders University, South Australia
Artist’s Statement:

Julie Gough, 2005
Promissory note – opposite Swan Island
Tea tree, timber, string, possum fur
229 h x 240 w x 130 d cm

Opposite Swan Island on the north east corner of Tasmania on 6th August 1831 at least one of my ancestors was made a crucial
promise by an envoy of the Government that has not been kept… we are waiting…

George Augustus Robinson 6th August 1831:
This morning I developed my plans to the chief Mannalargenna and explained to him the benevolent views of the government
towards himself and people.

He cordially acquiesced and expressed his entire approbation of the salutary measure, and promised his utmost aid and assistance.

I informed him in the presence of Kickerterpoller that I was commissioned by the Governor to inform them that,
if the natives would desist from their wonted outrages upon the whites,

they would be allowed to remain in their respective districts and would have flour, tea and sugar, clothes &c given them;

that a good white man would dwell with them who would take care of them and would not allow any bad white man to shoot them,
and he would go about the bush like myself and they then could hunt. He was much delighted.

The chief and the other natives went to hunt kangaroo: returned with some swan's eggs
which the chief presented me as a present from himself - this was an instance of gratitude seldom met with from the whites.

In 1994 I first made note of those words found on page 394 of 1073 pages in the
1966 mammoth transcription by N.J.B. Plomley of George Augustus RobinsonÕs
journal. In 1996 my first artwork clearly based on the incomplete transaction, our
unfinished business : Shadow of the Spear was completed. The words from this
diary extract sang strong when I visited the area of that verbal and inscribed promise
six generations later to realise that looking across to Swan Island brought much
personal anguish about losses and absences. Standing there, alone at that place,
also brought vivid clarity about the importance of remembering what has gone
before. I realised during the making of Shadow of the Spear that I h ad a path and
task set; that of translati ng into inviting and approachable visual art forms the written
and subsumed histories of cultural invasion, collision and trauma that has plagued
Tasmania, Australia and Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Four years after Robinson made that promise Ma nnarlargenna was exiled from his
homeland to Flinders Island in Bass Strait - where most Tasmanian Aboriginal
people were shipped who survived the first 30 years of invasion. On the journey
across, after stopping at Swan Island, Mannarlargenna held a telescope and studied
his country with great intent as it grew ever smaller. Mooring next at Green Island
Mannarlargenna cut off all his hair, symbolic of great loss. Mannarlargenna died on
Flinders Island one month later from what was medically diagnosed as pneumonia.

Promissory note Ğ opposite Swan Island as with Shadow of the Spear takes that
same moment and day of a promise later seen to be empty and reworks things
present of the place and transaction into visual art : Tea tree, time, memory, light and
dark, words burnt into memory and string that binds. My understanding is that
Tasmanian Aboriginal people on that day were promised that if they put down their
weapons, here taken to mean spears, they would, in return, be able to live and hunt
freely in t heir country ever more. Robinson is making explicit his, and by extension
as an employed representative of the British Government, the Offici al understanding
that Tasmanian Aboriginal people clearly recognised and held ownership and rights
to their own country. They laid their spears down in surrender as a clear response to
this and other such 'promises' in order to regain responsibility for and free
movements across their respective lands.

In Promissory note Ğ opposite Swan Island tea tr ee sticks activate story and place
from the past into a pointed formation reminiscent of a light. They metaphorically
track movement through time of countless unlit firesticks. Awaiting re-ignition these
bare bones of traditional means of warmth, light, meals shared and stories told have
been essentially exti nguished over the past 200 years through the actions of
European invasion. The tea tree sticks also resemble a glowing ball of artificial light
that emanates today from Swan Island lighthouse. Built in 1842 some ye ars after the
events I am referring to, its light powerfully cuts into the dark of the night across my
north eastern coastal country today and for me ties past and present together as it
sears the skies. The stick of symbolic light is placed geographically in the work at
the point on the silhouette of Swan Island where the lighthouse is located in actuality.
The tea tree sticks also take the form of a dandelion, symbolically blown by some
cultures to make wish come true, as I today often do in reflection of this promise and
how it could have been and never was.

The winds and the plants and the rocks still hold secrets and lies told to and by
people, the l oneliness and windswept beauty of my sleeping country is in barren form
in this work about the loss in remembering what no longer is.
Julie Goug h
13 February 2005

Ref 1: Robinson, G.A., Friendly Mission: The Tasmanian Jo urnals and Papers
(of) George Augustus Robinson, 1829 - 1834, ed. N.J.B. Plomley, T asmanian
Historical R esearch Society, Hob art, 1966.

Ref 2: Julie Goug h, Shadow of the Spear, 1997. Six ti-tree spears, six slip-cast
ceramic swansÕ eggs, six rows of pyrographically (hand burnt) cop perplate
text on Tasmanian oak slats placed in the six shadow s cast by the spears
leaning on the wall. Dimensions 6 x 6 ft, acquired by the Art Gallery of Western
Julie Gough
Intertidal Zone, 2005
crushed cuttlefish, crushed beach found charcoal,
beach oxides, beach graphite, wax on nine pieces
of timber
220 x 300 x130 cm
Acquired: Art Gallery of South Australia
Julie Gough
Intertidal, 2005
               found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides, ground pumice, bought oxide on canvas
106 x 140 cm
Acquired: Private collection
Julie Gough
Me-bay, 2005
Digital print on canvas
77 x 105 cm
Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough                    Julie Gough
Me-bay, 2005                   Tidal, 2005
Digital print on canvas        Beach found, crushed cuttlefish, oxides,
77 x 105 cm                    charcoal, graphite, bought oxide on canvas
Acquired: private collection   86 x 107 cm
                               Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough                                                  Julie Gough
Intertidal Drift, 2005                                       Resignation, 2005
Beach found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides,   Digital print on canvas
pumice, bought oxide on canvas                               87 x 115 cm
70 x 96 cm
Acquired: private collection
Artist statement:

Resignation, 2005
Digital print on canvas
82 x 116 cm


Me-bay, 2005
Digital print on canvas
77 x 105 cm

“Opening EBAY recently I looked up the category of “Aboriginal Art” to find many dozens of paintings for auction that are
authenticated by the inclusion of an obviously Aboriginal person holding up said painting/s in unknown backyard/s to unknown
photographer/s. Photo after photo of unimpressed-looking people presented (for me) a scene of depressing resignation. The subjects of
the photos became objects of commodification alongside their art making. Thinking about the intent of the photos I wondered whether
the artists may not be holding up their own work but that of forgers. I fear that forgers may be paying increasingly famous Aboriginal
artists to sign a pile of pre-produced paintings and to be photographed holding up each in a production line of profitable abuse. I
decided to be photographed in my yard holding one of my own paintings. Fortuitously, one of these photographs was taken by the
manager of an Aboriginal arts centre who was staying with me at the time and understood with mirth and grief what I was trying to say.
I am an Aboriginal artist. My pale-skinned presence in the photographs may ironically serve to de-authenticate the “Aboriginality” of
the painting I am holding and thus reduce its perceived value. I am resigned!”.

Julie Gough
April 2005
Julie Gough
Limpet, 2005 (and detail)
Beach found ground cuttlefish, beach found ground charcoal,
linen stitching on canvas
102 x 77 cm Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough
Cowrie, 2005
Beach found oxides, bought oxides, beeswax, eucalyptus oil, ground shells on
73 x 102 cm
Acquired: private collection
Julie Gough - Biography and general artist statement

Julie Gough is a visual artist working predominantly in sculpture and installation art who is also currently employed
as a Lecturer in Visual Arts at James Cook University, Townsville. Julie‟s art and research practice involves
uncovering and re-presenting historical stories as part of an ongoing project that questions and re-evaluates the impact of
the past on our present lives. Much of her sculptural work refers to her own and her family‟s experiences as Tasmanian
Aboriginal people and is concerned with developing a visual language to express and engage with conflicting and subsumed
histories. A central intention of Julie‟s art is to invite a viewer to a closer understanding of our continuing roles in,
and proximity to unresolved National stories.

“My work revisits sites of history and memory often recorded only in text. I rework versions of the past from between the
lines, seeking voices and direction in a detective-like search for alternative and visual means of representation. I sculpt
as my way to retrieve the forgotten or unspoken narratives of this nation, and to invite the viewer to engage with stories
and implications perhaps not otherwise voluntarily approached.” Julie Gough, 1999

Since undertaking a solo artist residency (Arts Tasmania Wilderness Residency, Eddystone Light, 2001) in her maternal
(Trawlwoolway) ancestral homeland of Tebrikunna in far north east Tasmania Julie Gough‟s work has evolved into more
personal, introspective musings about intangible states of being. Formerly hard-edged sometimes satirical political
commentary about race and identity today Julie Gough‟s work reflects [on] both internal and external states of being and

“I am interested in shorelines; the places between past and present, day and night, conscious and unconscious. My art
making navigates these spaces of evocation in an effort to trigger re-surfacings of cultural memories beyond habituated
contemporary frameworks that distrust the sensorial. My feeling is that there is something „other‟ through which
humans individually mediate the world. Working with this spirit of our presence provides me meaning, reason and a way
(art making) to engage with the often detached exteriorised public world. My intention is to investigate and provide new
ways to reflect upon and hence understand places of time, memory, history and the past within a personal present.” Julie
Gough, 2001

Julie Gough‟s first major exhibiting opportunity was Perspecta 1995, curated by Judy Annear, at the Art Gallery of New South
Wales and that same year Gabrielle Pizzi invited Julie to exhibit in Melbourne for the first time in the exhibition New
Faces – New Directions. Since that initial group showing Julie has exhibited in solo exhibitions at Gallery Gabrielle
Pizzi on three occasions : Heartland in 2001, Re-collections in 1997 and Dark Secrets/Home Truths in 1996. Since 1994 Julie
Gough has exhibited in over eighty exhibitions, nationally and internationally and Julie‟s work is represented in collections
including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, National Gallery of
Victoria, Melbourne, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, The National Museum Australia, Canberra, Mildura Arts
Centre, Victoria, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, City of Port Phillip, Victoria.

Julie has previously been employed as a Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, a lecturer in
Aboriginal studies at Riawunna at the University of Tasmania and as an Interpretation Officer, Aboriginal Culture at the
Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Other experiences include Co-judging the annual Telstra NATSIAA (National
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards) Awards hosted by the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
in 2004, co-judging the National Interpretation Awards, Australia 2004 and as Tasmanian representative on the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council, 2003.

Julie has undertaken artist residencies in Tasmania (Wilderness Residency, Arts Tasmania, 2001), New York (Greene
St Studio, Australia Council for the Arts, 2002, London (Samstag Scholarship, MVA, University of London 1997-8), Paris
and Mauritius (Commonwealth Award, 2001-2) and was awarded a PhD from the University of Tasmania in 2001 (Transforming
Histories: the visual disclosure of contentious pasts, 2000), MFA (University of London, Goldsmith‟s College,1998), BFA 1st
class Honours (University of Tasmania 1994), BVA (Curtin University, 1993) and BA (Prehistory and English Literature,
UWA, 1986).

Selected websites:
INTERTIDAL                   Art works by Julie Gough                              10th May - 4th June 2005

Paintings on canvas

„Tidal‟, 2005
beach found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides,pumice, bought oxide on canvas
86 x 107 cm

„Intertidal‟, 2005
found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides,grit, bought oxide on canvas
106 x 140 cm

„Intertidal Drift‟, 2005
Beach found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides,grit, bought oxide on canvas
70 x 96 cm

„Cowrie‟, 2005
beach found ground graphite, beach found ground oxides,beach found ground shell grit, bought oxides, beeswax,
eucalyptus oil on canvas
73 x 102 cm

„Limpet‟, 2005
beach found ground cuttlefish, beach found ground charcoal,linen stitching on canvas
102 x 77 cm

„Land and Sky from Sea‟, 1
oxides and inks on canvas
82 x 43 cm

„Land and Sky from Sea‟, 2
oxides and inks on canvas
80 x 52 cm


„Intertidal Zone‟, 2005
Beach found ground cuttlefish, charcoal, graphite, oxides,grit, bought oxide on timber
220 x 300 x 130 cm

„Drift‟, 2005
driftwood, nylon
130 x 90 x 20 cm

„Lifebearer‟, 2005
beach found pumice*, brass wire    *floated from Tonga region eruption which occurred 2 years ago
100 x 60 x 34 cm

„Seam‟, 2005
beach found coal, nylon
130 x 90 x 15cm

„Promissory Note ~ Opposite Swan Island‟, 2005
timber, tea tree, possum fur, string, pyrography
230 x 250 x 100 cm (approx.)

„Regeneration‟, 2005
eucalypt branch, bronze
210 x 8 x 140 cm (approx.)

„Transmitting Device‟, 2005
limpets, lomandra longfolia, driftwood
40 x 25 x 25 cm

„Raft‟, 2005
driftwood, lomandra
185 x 63 x 15 cm                                                                                    continues…
Digital Prints on canvas

„Me-Bay‟, 2005
digital print on canvas
77 x 105 cm

„Resignation‟, 2005
digital print on canvas
87 x 115 cm

„Raft‟, 2005
digital print on canvas
76 x 102 cm

Shared By: