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Water Ways -what the trees have seen

82cm (W) x 60cm (H) x 12cm (D)
porcelain clay and stains, steel, reclaimed redgum sleeper

Robyn Phelan

Shortlisted for the Wyndham Art Prize, 2020

In Riverbend Historic Park there are three significant trees: eucalypts, peppercorns and a palm. They are silent survivors and silent observers of the way of water along the Werribee River. This is Wadawurrung country, a land that has incurred the histories of Chaffey’s irrigation ambitions, soldier settlement, markets gardens, and Melbourne’s expanding suburbs. 

Three porcelain plaques narrate and record this history. Clay has been pressed onto each tree trunk. Additional text has been stamped on each plaque. The action is an intimate conversation, in correspondence and acknowledgment of the importance of water in this land and the deep, colonial and recent history of this place.