Disturbing a silent voice

The temporary site work, disturbing a silent voice, is the completion of a residency initiated by Country Arts SA in the heritage town of Burra, South Australia. The installation is a response to the conditions and lives of temporary communities, both indigenous and migrant miners, that navigated this site throughout history. The historical narrative highlights how the non-human (land, copper) and human (indigenous, migrant) were in continual states of transition.

Disturbing a silent voice attempts to disrupt the boundary of place knowledge by inserting a work of art and creating a disturbance. This could present an alternative future, to see the land as an evolving, changing, moving entity.

During early October 2016, an unusually heavy rainstorm caused flooding in the area where disturbing a silent voice was located.

The installation became submerged. The receding waters revealed the full force of nature and the work became enmeshed within the environment. The force of the water tilted the branches toward the ground. Stains and imprints of debris were etched into each branch. The muslin and white cement absorbed traces of nature’s force.

Observing the evolution of the work and the world, while recognising ecological vulnerability and resilience, gives an opportunity to rethink the interrelationships between human and non-human.