The residency in Beaufort was undertaken in January, 2010 and was supported by the Golden Age Hotel in Beaufort.

At that time much of Australia has been in drought for many years, and as a result many of the lakes in central Victoria were drying up. The installation I did during the Beaufort residency was designed to highlight this problem, and was given media coverage by three local newspapers and the local television news.

The results of the residency, documented photographically, were exhibited at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery between 17 June-1 August, 2010

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ARTIST STATEMENT for the residency:

Dawn Whitehand completed her PhD at the University of Ballarat in Fine Arts in 2009. Her folio consisted of environmental sculptural ceramics installed in the natural landscape. Her PhD research explored the ability of environmental to comment, in a tangible way, on the condition of the natural world, and clay’s potential to reflect the organic character of this world, and its delicate and endangered equilibrium.

As an extension of this research, Dawn, with the support of The Golden Age Hotel in Beaufort, created an ephemeral artwork consisting of clay sculptures on the Beaufort Lake from 13th January till 19th January, 2010. The artwork, constructed on site from recycled clay, remained unfired. When dry the sculptures were installed in 6-8 centimetres of water, after which they gradually disintegrated and decayed into the lake-bed.

The sculptures abstractly referenced water birds, and the degeneration of the clay represented the fragile predicament of water birds. Once beneath the surface of the water, the decaying forms took on the appearance of sea creatures, further reflecting the vulnerability of aquatic environments, as regional lakes across Australia continue to dry up.

Photographic documentation of the installation was shown at the Arat Regional Art Gallery during August 2010.

Enquiries about the purchase of fine art prints of the images shown can be forwarded via email. There are many other images also which could be forwarded for you to choose from.


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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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