A Country Reader 2, 2009_page 41/50

© Carmel Wallace

photograph by Margund Sallowsky
ARTIST STATEMENT: How does one ‘read’ country? What is an appropriate language for this reading? A Country Reader comments on western culture’s rationalist compartmentalizing of knowledge epitomized by the book of subject headings that is the basis of this work. I introduced waterborne pigments to its pages, allowing them to move and settle, leaving traces as the water evaporated. I found this process quite meditative and satisfying: a way of reminding myself of natural processes and other more intuitive ways of viewing the world. The enlarged details in the pages of A Country Reader 2 reveal the ‘natural’ or more random patterning of the watercolors disrupting the very particular categories of knowledge used by librarians. Many of the categories/subject headings I have selected refer to landscape as I was thinking of the environmental consequences of employing a cultural paradigm that prioritizes a Cartesian view of the world.