CHANGING TIDES: WATERS OF THE PAST > Tracey Benson
Opening night > Friday 7 April, 5:30pm
> Arts Lounge
Changing Tides Artist Statement: Waters of the Past is a multiple-media exhibition using a range of media including photography, video and augmented reality. It is the latest chapter in an ongoing project about the connections between water, humanity and culture – Words for Water. In this work the iconography of the sea and natural environment is layered with runic symbols. These symbols represent a culture, land and language lost, acting as a ‘proxy’ for ancestral links to the old country.
This exhibition is the first from Tracey’s Waters of the Past project and explores a number of coastal landscapes in diverse places: Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sawtell in NSW and Te Mahia in Aotearoa. The project is focused on creative research and exploration through a journey to the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway. The journeys are part of two artist residencies – one with the Clipperton Project and the other with the Association of Icelandic Artists (SIM) in Iceland.
Tracey’s research explores recurring themes related to memory, history, cultural identity and connection to place. It is also Tracey’s opportunity to explore her migrant heritage directly by spending time learning more about the culture of her Norwegian ancestor, merchant seaman Anton Benson (1855-1929). More can be read about the research into Anton’s intriguing story HERE.
The Changing Tides exhibition has several components. There is a 1/2 hour meditation video which runs on a loop. In the gallery there are also 18 canvases and a display of some rune pieces. The canvases are all linked together using Augmented Reality (AR) to reveal video slices of the longer work, which is triggered by the image. Although the runes will not be for sale, you can buy the canvas works which are editioned.
You can activate the AR element by following the Words4Water channel on Aurasma (or go to the App Store and download it) and using your hand-held device scan the images hanging in the exhibition, and if you can’t visit the show you can scan the images HERE on Tracey’s website.
Changing tides is an ongoing project for Tracey who is currently doing some research with a Brisbane based artist with similar heritage as well as working with another artist based in Iceland. Tracey will be completing a 3 month residency in Norway later this year to concentrate on this project and do some further research into her family history.