The Marathon Project is an invitation to observe, alongside many others doing the same. Each sees something quite different, informed by what we have seen before. At times Andrew Cameron speaks of his property in terms of ‘before’ and ‘after’, of both himself and the first European settlers, acknowledging humankind’s force upon the land, and how nature continually pushes back. The idea of ‘before and after’ intrigues me.
Materially I have been drawn to two that are in abundance upon the property: water and clay. The two are inextricably linked in nature. Water is in constant passage across the property whether it be the Nile River forming one boundary, the Marathon Creek traversing the Eastern plains or the rain that falls….. or doesn’t. The Eastern plains consist predominately of what I have come to recognise (thanks to Andrew Cameron and Tanya Bailey) as Black Cracking Clay, a sight that can appear disastrous yet simultaneously beautiful. There has been much of that – what appears to signal trouble to my city eyes being explained otherwise, what appears fine to me being revealed as a sign of impending doom.
The opportunity to make an intervention into the raw landscape is too tempting to resist, yet I am also drawn to bring the clay back to my studio to be tamed into familiar forms. The time and scope of this project allow me the pleasure of doing both.