Artists and miners might seem like strange bedfellows but that just makes this encounter all the more interesting. In 2007 six artists trekked to the Tanami Gold Mine some 650 kilometres from Alice Springs and immersed themselves in what can only be described as a rather foreign environment. Rachel Bowak, Pip McManus, Drew Moynihan, Nic Hempel, Kim Mahood and the late Pamela Lofts, responded to various aspects of the the mine and mining in ways that reflect their personal practices and concerns. On the traditional land of the Walpiri people they made photographs and videos, music, performance, sculptures and paintings that give an atmospheric sense this wide open space inhabited by the traditional owners and FIFO miners. First shown at the Araluen Art Centre in Alice Groundrush opened to a large crowd at CCAS Gorman Art Centre on Friday night. In many ways these artists are still working after many years, rethinking and reinterpreting their experience for a new space. Helen Maxwell OAM summed up the effort perfectly when she said it is, “A show of “light and dark” of “quiet and intriguing discoveries”, “that answers questions and poses them”. If CCAS has ever seemed to capture the ambience of a mine its now and that in itself is worth the trip. Pure Gold! Groundrush at CCAS Gorman House until 16 May.
The artists wish to thank Newmont Australia for their generous hosting of the artists and the Warlpiri Traditional Owners for allowing access to their country.