This series of images was created while I was artist in residence at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney.
As I wandered the gardens I became fascinated with the graffiti scratched into the bamboo. Some of the graffiti seemed to be a simple declaration of place and time but much of it was of lovers declaring their love. It occurred to me that the first and original lovers in these gardens were the First Nation Peoples of Australia.
Looking for a metaphor to hold this idea I superimposed photographs of the lover's graffiti over an image referencing Dürer's engraving of Adam and Eve – a representation of the first lovers just prior to their expulsion from the garden of Eden. Fortuitously, it seemed to me, some of the graffiti resembled body paint, the images resonating with a deeply hidden metaphor for the dispossession and loss, but also the love of the First Australians.
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