Sunday Territorian 31 Jul 2016
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
24 FRONTIER ART & BOOKS SUNDAY JULY 31 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Art beat SCULPTURE BY THE SEA You dont need to head to Bondis annual event for your fix of waterside art. Darwin is getting its very own collection B RONZE dugongs and shorebirds have made their home along Top End coastal walks. Parks and Wildlife commissioned Aly de Groot to create the bronze sculptures as part of a $10 million development of the Casuarina Coastal Reserve. The $200,000 public art project saw her work with Philip Piperides, who casts the sculptures in bronze, and Larrakia elder Bilawara Lee. Spirituality is important to De Groot, so she worked closely with Lee to ensure her work was appropriate, and when she created her first public art sculpture the jellyfish at East Point Reserve in 2014 she sought permission from traditional owners. Her new dugongs sit on the site of Darriba Nungalinya, or Old Man Rock, which is a significant sacred site to the Larrakia people Lee said very few people who intend on changing the landscape seek permission from the traditional owners. It changes the spiritual energy of a place, Lee said. (The dugongs) are sitting on one of the most sacred sites and if you do change the land without the right permission and protocol it causes big storms. De Groot is again collaborating with traditional owners this time of the Kabi Kabi people on a project for the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. I think it is an important process for me and I found it necessary in my own practice, she said. It enriches my experience and adds spirituality to my work. The artist said her dugong and seabird project had seen a maturity in the Territorys appreciation for contemporary public art. The thing with public sculpture, if its a bit abstract (the public) get critical because it doesnt have a purpose its not commemorating or recognising anything but Darwin is embracing more contemporary sculpture and thats important, she said. Theres not one way for public sculpture to be expressed its good to be challenged. Since installing her jelly fish at East Point in 2014 De Groot said she had learned a lot about the relationships others form with her work in the public sphere. The real learning curve for me was that these sculptures dont belong to me anymore theyre not just for me and people create their own relationship with them, she said. People might go on a first date there, or they might go Pokmon hunting or contemplate a sad thought. I like to bring out what is already in a place, so its accessible to everyone. She said public art was an effective way to heighten the experience of a place and educate visitors about the local area. I think its one of those things that might seem like an indulgence, but its a necessity, she said. Some people might think thats not important, but different things are important to different people. The sculptures continue De Groots signature use of ropes found in ghost nets, a notorious environmental threat to coastal sea life. This highlights the environmental impact of discarded waste in waterways. Theres an environmental element about conservation and what we leave in the ocean, and our consumption cycle, and the effect it has on animals, De Groot said. She collaborated with local scientists to develop the most relevant and environmentally site-specific animal designs for her works. The shorebirds installed last Wednesday in Lee Point were selected from a list provided by local shorebird expert Amanda Lilleyman. She gave me some data from the last survey of migratory birds and gave me a list of birds that visit the area, De Groot said. From that list two species were chosen the greenshank, a tall bird with fine features and the sand piper. The birds were installed in sand and designed with the understanding there will be plenty of little ones wanting to climb on them. The dugongs were a suggestion from Parks and Wildlife, and are common in Top End coastal waters. Jellyfish are my thing, but Ive really enjoyed researching the other animals in my home town, De Groot said. I do love dugongs because they are like mermaids theyve got a real peacefulness to them. Aly de Groot has been comissioned by Parks and Wildlife to create public art along territory coastlines. She's just installed dugongs in Casuarina Coastal Reserve tamara howie Arts BOOKED IN REVIEWS PENELOPE DEBELLE, ROBYN DOUGLASS, SHELLEY ORCHARD FICTION Before the Fall Noah Hawley Hodder and Stoughton, $32.99 A private aircraft is leaving Marthas Vineyard with a cargo of privileged rich folk, plus a struggling artist, Scott, who hitched a ride, and assorted security and crew. The storys focus is on media magnate David Bateman, whose plane it is, his wife Maggie, and their two children Rachel and JJ, who is four. Only two survive the ensuing crash and the passage detailing Scotts epic swim, his shoulder dislocated but still carrying and urging on JJ, is incredible. But the real trouble begins on land as orphaned JJs inheritance comes into play, a TV jock doubts Scotts story and the FBI suspect a terror attack and seize his doom-laden painting. It boils down to a great whodunit and film producers should be circling. Verdict: Excellent HISTORY The Art of Time Travel Tom Griffiths Black Inc, $34.99 History is not just locked up in university libraries its an academic pursuit the general public consumes, enjoys and debates. Our history shapes our society, but who shapes our history? Australias stories are as much about the people who write them as the people who enacted it, and academic Tom Griffiths provides a profile for each of his favourite Australian historians. While it strays a little close to being a tour through his (Melbourne) past, the strength of these essays is how well Griffiths sums up the battlegrounds of our history: is it a science, or is there room for creativity in the telling? What constitutes evidence: paper or blood? Is one persons story enough to illuminate a whole era? You may not agree with him, but it will get you thinking, which is his point. Verdict: Intriguing THRILLER I Am Behind You John Ajvide Lindqvist Text Publishing $32.99 To describe Lindqvist as a horror writer would be a disservice. Sure it was his zombie thriller (and ensuing films) that made him famous. But the sheer breadth of his imagination puts him on a different plane altogether. In this latest work, four families staying in a caravan park wake one day to find everything has changed. The other holidayers and the campsite buildings have gone. So has the sun. All that is left is them eight adults of varying ages and temperaments, two children, a cat and a dog stranded in a seemingly endless green field. Its disquieting enough but far, far worse is to come. Every character even the animals is finely drawn in this surreal tale. Kudos to the translator. Verdict: Extraordinary PROUDLY SPONSORED BY 1/30 SMITH STREET MThe artist with her jellyfish sculpture at East Point