Yurruun.ga wetlands ~ an album
Yurruun.ga wetlands ~ album orbits a remediated wetland in Gumbaynggirr Country (NSW), not long ago a dead, exhausted habitat destroyed by processing mine ore.
‘The ancient Greeks called the world κοσμος, beauty. Such is the constitution of all things’, wrote Emerson, and the trigger for this project was his friend Thoreau, and his project at Walden Pond. This wetland is recovering and in this time of numerous environmental catastrophes, our future needs a healthy aesthetic. An aesthetic which celebrates the natural, its beauty and ecology – but also one alert to history, and which doesn’t repeat past blindness to violence against nature and peoples.
The album is formed by ‘photographs’ that extend for 60 seconds. They are not edits excised from longer takes. The ‘photographs’ usually contain movement, but motion is often scarce. We have slow food and slow travel, this project is ‘slow video’. Art should be interesting, after all, the world is, and aesthetics is a mode of enquiry, a way to experience the world and ask what is happening.
A huge thanks to my good friend and collaborator John Laidler of Cut Snake Studios, St Peters, an excellent composer, musician and editor (and patient).
Welcome to Country, Uncle ‘Micklo’ Jarrett
In this time of environmental crisis, I believe everyone including artists have a responsibility to contribute to the fight. That doesn’t mean artists and writers have to focus their work on the natural environment, as citizens they can contribute in other ways. But at a time when most of the world encounters that natural world of habitats, the rich biodiversity of fauna and flora through screens, art and writings that bring the natural world closer is more important than ever. I undertake regular bird surveys here and this habitat is regaining its health. Wetlands are a vital habitat now vanishing. According to WWF’s Living Planet Report of 2020, approximately 85 per cent of wetlands have been lost due to conversion for agricultural or urban development purposes.