Un ar adeg


This work was started during a residency at Sauerbier House and is now continuing on my return to Wales.

Sauerbier Art House is an historic villa on the riverbank of Port Noarlunga, which was transformed into a site-responsive contemporary art centre in 2015. It offers three month artist / writer in-residence, an art gallery, a writing gallery, temporary art projects in the grounds, and hosts arts and cultural events. Sauerbier Art House is dedicated to the creation of living cultural dialogues and local creative exchanges.

Prior to leaving for Australia I had been looking at a story: Mermandho the spider and Ngoorin the black beetle. (Lynette Solomen-Dent).


My first step with this work, whilst in Wales, was to translate the story into Welsh.

On my arrival at Saierbier House, I decided to use the story and the landscape of the area, especially the landscape and trees of Lot 50 Kanyanyapilla, McLaren Vale, where I spent many nights camping during the residency.


Koote Wurrin mangina pigdeongul / Un diwrnod yn y gorffenol / One day in the past
1koote wurrin


The image for this work was not based on anything and was really in my mind a generic landscape with generic trees. Because it was not based on any areas I had seen, then to me it became more like something out of time, or uncreated.




Mermandho il Braak budjeri djambies/ Roedd Prif Copyn a Chocatw yn ffrindiau dda / Spider and Cockatoo were good friends

The landscape came from Lot 50. On the land there is one hill and in this image the road is following the boundary of the property that abuts the land owned by the catholic church and leased out to a winery. For this image I wanted two trees which were to represent Mermandho and Braak. I also wanted the trees to be close to each other with maybe the branches intertwining. There was not any trees on Lot 50 that seemed to suit the idea I had in my mind unless I combined two different drawings, and I wanted the trees to be taken from real life. I eventually found the trees when I went camping in the Yanga National Park.


Braak tackan Ngoorin goomballa kulluk/ Mae Cocatw yn gweld Chwilen Ddu dringo coeden / Cockatoo sees black beetle climbing a tree
3Braak tacken

For this work I wanted to introduce another tree to represent the three characters in the story. I was trying to work out which trees to use and then one morning as I walked around the lookout shelter I saw three trees planted on council land just outside the fence. Two were together and the third was apart, which was how I was wanting to show the three in my story.




‘Wulunggo ngetal Gunnai?’ dee ak Ngoorin / ‘Pa ffordd ydy fy mhobl?’ gofynodd Chwilen Ddu / ‘Which way to my people?’ asked Ngoorin

4Wullunga ngetal

In the far right hand corner near the main road on Lot 50 there is a tree with the tracks driving around the tree. I found this tree appropriate to represent the question ‘Where are my people’ as because the roots were exposed it looked like the tree was willing to pick up and walk away which suited the idea of someone/something searching for their mob. The two tracks represent the two ways in which he could travel.
Braak dhuna, ‘Njinde yangan manana.’ / ‘Maen nhw fan ‘cw,’ meddai Cocatw / Ngoorin said ‘They are over there.’
5Braak dhuna
I choose a part of Lot 50 that looked like a dip in the land where a mob might rest. I put branches in the corner to represent Cockatoo pointing the way and the two palm trees to represent the mob that the Cockatoo are pointing to, which aren’t the mob that Chwilen Ddu is looking for. So the trees are meant to represent the strangers in the land. The palm trees came from outside the window of the studio. There were debates about the garden that had been planted with the renovation of Sauerbier House – a lot of people thought it was too much of a colonial garden, representing the colonial roots of the area rather then representing the indigenous history.

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