Drawing together works created in the UK, NSW and Victoria, Shadows and Consequences explores the ongoing legacies of colonial relationships between people and environments.

Photographs of species decimated by human transformation of their habitats are projected onto contemporary landscapes. The process enables surface textures, air movements and atmospheric conditions to re-animate animals and insects as ghostlike presences. As the projections are re-documented to create the final works, they draw our attention to the simultaneous presence and absence of these creatures in their, and our, places.

SHADOWS AND CONSEQUENCES

Two channel video and sound, 5mins 31secs

 

In this three-act work, Vic McEwan illuminates the colonial foundations of contemporary practices and relationships fueling ecological crises.

The narrative opens on the banks of the River Thames in central London. On remnant pylons of the vast docks that once serviced Britain’s maritime empire, a lizard and kangaroo specimen quietly take up residence.

Nearby, in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, a monument to Admiral Arthur Phillip, RN, commander of the First Fleet and first Governor of NSW, is painted with anatomised Australian species and tuned to produce a new anthem of ‘settlement’.

In fortifications overlooking Portsmouth, from where the First Fleet departed for New South Wales in 1787, McEwan creates an accompaniment for projections into the choking bushfire smoke of the 2019-20 eastern Australian summer.