the ‘Lie of the Land’

The art historical reference is a drawing by Eugene von Geurard (1858) – Winter encampment in Wurlies of division of the Tribes from Lake Bonney and Lake Victoria in the Parkland near Adelaide – which depicted indigenous Australians camped in the parklands around Adelaide.

The indigenous Australians who camped in the parklands around Adelaide were the Kaurna people, for whom the site we now call Adelaide was home. So much for Australia being terra nullius.

Lie of the Land

In The Adelaide Review Margot Osborne argues that though the ‘Lie of the Land’ work:

is inoffensive and culturally correct, it is also mildly disappointing. The repetitive forms are too uniform, without organic variation of size and shape. They are closed, impenetrable and mute, lacking in poetic resonance. In their symbolic intent they verge on the morally superior, preachy stance that can alienate even those who sympathise with their point of view.

The subtlety is in both the colours of the stones used to construct the beehive shapes using the techniques of dry-walling and the play of light on the domes stones.

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