Talking Place: Unfolding Conversations is a collaborative exhibition between Tracy Hill, Monika Lukowska, Annette Nykiel, Sarah Robinson, and Jane Whelan that explores the significance of wetlands with particular focus on Lake Walyungup; a shallow, ephemeral salt-lake in the Rockingham area known by the local Noongar people as ‘the place where people talk’. Lake Walyungup is a seemingly forgotten, empty space in the midst of a growing urban community which offers shelter to migratory birds and wildlife. It has a deep history embedded in thrombolite remains, links with the
Noongar community and various historical uses by the passing groups of settlers and armed forces.
This project stemmed from a conversation, following the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand conference in 2017, between four WA based artists who encounter and explore place through their art practice. Links have emerged from our common interest in landscape and a sense of place.
Turning to Lake Walyungup as a site for fieldwork and creative practice, our dialogue evolved into an exhibition Talking Place, showcased at IMPACT 10 International Printmaking Conference in
Santander, Spain in September 2018 and continues to unfold with this exhibition.
Following encounters in Spain, our conversation now includes UK artist Tracy Hill. Hill has been examining the significance of the wetlands in her home country, and brings an international perspective to these environmentally significant sites. Our relations with the lake include dialogues with groups involved in managing the local wetland ecology, including state and local government departments, environmental NGOs, and traditional land owners allowing us to research diverse aspects of the site.
The exhibition interweaves traditional techniques including drawing, bricolage, lithography, etching, and dry point with the digital technologies of drone videos, 3D prints, and Lidar survey scanning in a synthesis of techniques that expand the boundaries of contemporary print. Through multidisciplinary works and collaborative exploration, we aim to unfold our experience of place, its characteristics, atmosphere, meaning and significance.
This exhibition has the potential to raise awareness of the environmental significance of wetlands.