A car wreck, almost rusted through, occupies the gallery floor whilst images of other †cars †flicker on monitors.†The space is filled with documentation of the Swamp - a record of an extraordinary long-term investigation into this complex environment by Darwin based artist Bronwyn Wright.
This is not just a recording of a particular landscape but rather an emersion into an ecosystem and its inhabitants. †The exhibition presents a images of an unusual confluence of the artist, the environment, and the subculture of car hoons, who use the swamp to hone their driving skills. The Swamp is littered with the wreckage of burned out and abandoned cars. ††Over time an unusual and anonymous collaboration has taken place. †
The artists states: My arts practice takes place in the environment - specifically a wasteland on the edge of Darwin's northern suburbs known locally as 'The Swamp'. ††Over the last eleven years I have visited the Swamp with my dogs almost every day. During the first seven years I photographed the birds, plants and patterns in the rocks and then began looking at the abandoned cars hidden away in the grass or exposed on the flat.
I was fascinated by the patterns and colours in the peeling paint and the rusted surfaces of these crumpled cars. For the young men and boys in the prime of their suburban warriorhood itís a place to spin out in old cars, stolen cars, 4WDs or on motorbikes. Donuts, burnouts - plenty of active 'circle work' are part of the energy of the Swamp. I began making my own marks on the cars in 1997 and I have names for all of these abandoned cars. ††'October's Car', is the first car I marked. †This was my first step past the boundary of observer and photographer to participator. †As a car it was important to me because it marked the beginning of my participation and interaction within the Swamp and 'wasteland culture' via the marking of cars. The marks on the land made by birds, animals, humans and cars are in a sense a form of environmental graffiti. So my work becomes a form of land painting in the land. One could say the work is collaboration involving interaction by unknown persons.