FIONA HALL: WRONG WAY TIME
Fiona Halls sustained examination of the intricate interrelationship between nature and culture takes on new urgency as she responds to the realities of climate change, war and increasing inequity. A museum of transformed materials and objects, together with intense and poignant paintings and sculptures, prompt us to consider our impact on the future of nature.
The cabinet surrounds a central group of hanging figures with distorted heads knitted from camouflage fabric, a nihilistic hub of hollow death masks. The intermittent sounds of clocks ticking, chiming and cuckooing, along with field recordings of crows, add a resonant layer that contributes to a sense of madness and doom.
The impact of colonization and capitalism on the environment is also explored in Manuhiri (Travellers) (2014), for which Hall collected driftwood, including pine, poplar, manuka, and kanuka, from the Waiapu River on the east coast of the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Waiapu was once surrounded by heavily forested land before suffering from erosion, chemical runoff, and the accumulation of silt due to development. In a paradoxical and poetic move, the pieces of driftwood selected by Hall evoke the shape of living creatures, appearing as poignant vestiges of the environmental degradation that shaped them.
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s principal arts funding and advisory body. For the past three decades, Australia’s presentations at la Biennale di Venezia have been supported and managed by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Fiona Hall is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.
Image credits: Christian Corte, Angus Mordant, Clayton Glen, Will Taylor.