Canaipa Mudlines

Canaipa Mudlines finds company within the broader movement of art practice that adopts the natural environment as studio, gallery, archive, teacher, trigger, idea-smith, wise collaborator and honest critic. Since 2016 we have come alive to the outer movements and changes, the subtitles and minutiae, as well as the wild and unpredictable behaviours that characterise a world that lies beyond the control and restraining power of the ingenious human engineer. From Littoral shores belted by mangroves to swampy wetlands, soft and alive under foot, to narrow sandy shores and humming casuarina groves, we have found that the sensibility responsive to form, pattern, contrast and structure, is enlivened and broadened. The excursions are not just isolated ventures into the environment, but are an unfolding revelation of the nature of self and world.

Our activities are largely based within the South Moreton Bay Islands, a small clutch of inhabited islands within Quandamooka country. Jencoomercha (Macleay ), Canaipa (Russell), Ngudooroo (Lamb) and Karragarra, which has always maintained its indigenous name. Within this group, we have worked mostly on Canaipa Island, including hosting several artist residencies and public events. We were also guests on Minjerriba (North Stradbroke Island), in 2017, welcomed to that country by the generous hospitality of Delvene Cockatoo Collins and Quandamooka Elder Evelyn Parkin. For the most part, the materials we use are found and and remain on site. Occasionally we bring a spool of string, a bolt of muslin, a square of canvas. Occasionally we find objects that have been left by previous visitors: a chair, a bottle, a lawn mower. The boundaries of the inhabited and natural worlds are not firm, even here. But one thing seems certain: it is the natural world that has the final say, when it comes to the consequences of what goes in and what comes out.

Turtle Swamp Wetlands, Residency September 2017

Canaipa Mudlines September Residency gave participating artists the opportunity to work for an extended period within the forest of the Turtle Swam Wetlands on Canaipa Island. The six days on the island meant that artists unfamiliar with the place were able to spend time connecting and developing a feeling for the place before initiating the work. It was an enriching and rewarding week of making, conversing, sharing and appreciating, that left behind a brilliant trail of works from the eleven artists, documented here. Apart from the long, timeless days in the forest, working on site, highlights of the week included the artists' dinner and talks on the Wednesday night, and the end of residency party on Saturday. Also memorable was the weaving circle on Thursday at the residency house, and the Sunday open day in the forest. Such beautiful conversations, and openings forged, between people, and between people and the forest through art.

artists involved:

Tricia Dobson. Leah King-Smith; Duncan King-Smith; Virginia Jones; Mark Weiss; Julie Menzies; Kane Oakenfull; Christina Bakker; Jennifer Stuerzl; Kaia King-Smith; Sharon Jewell; Carol Schwarzman.

Many thanks to Lines int he Sand for providing the residency house and transport assistance.

Sharon JewellComment