Ditch and Sticks


Ditch and Sticks 7.2014

Ditch and Sticks  is abstract art on a landscape canvas.  The aim here is to achieve a land art design of Scale, Contrast and Repetition – with no particular symbolic meaning or social message to the work – although there is potential for viewers to read their own story into the collage of objects, shapes and highlights in shades of blue.

The Ditch dates back to 2003, a side product of heavy machinery building a driveway to our home. It was to drain water from the bush driveway so the mud and crushed rock would not wash away in the next heavy storm.

As I watched a dozer ripping a drain diagonally across the paddock tumbling out dark brown earth and a multitude of shapely, colourful rocks, I could see a start point for a major land art piece running diagonally for 100 metres across the paddock named Triangle.

I wanted to emphasise the ditch and its width and length using contrasting natural materials – ideally white and weathered old tree branches lying where they have fallen over the decades. Stage 1, the Sticks, took some weeks, collecting, transporting, laying out.

And similarly, to highlight the string of rocks that had been further exposed by rain and wind, many quite striking in their own right. So, a painted contrasting highlighting that would draw the eye to the rhythm of the rocks and then across to the line of the sticks and back again. (click to enlarge)

Ditch and sticks geen reload Ditch and Sticks 7.2014
Ditch and Sticks rhino reload ds6

Stages 2 and 3, Painting, some months later, these stages are underway and will take a week or three. I am working in the mid winter cold, just a few hours a day in the afternoon sun. It is blissfully peaceful – so quiet, the breeze, a few bird calls and frogs in the dam. Sandra Welsman

August 2014 saw a deal of coverage of ceremonies marking 100 years from the start of World War I. Thinking about those trenches, so many young men lost, makes my art seem a degree frivolous and protected – although we all fight some battles in our era, I have my own front lines, and to be able at last to spend time in artistic endeavour is perhaps one of those freedoms we fight for.

Art and Time 1.2105. Deterioration of this artwork is inevitable although it is holding reasonably well after six months. So many natural forces, animals and plants, could and likely will, impact to shift and fade its parts over the next years. This is a Land Art reality.

British land artist Andy Goldsworthy is famous for his ephemeral transient works. He makes photography and film part of the artistic process. As Goldsworthy has explained, “Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive.


Gabriele Meneguzz – South Africa Site Specific sewing-cucire 2013

Dandelions and wood