Tim Coad has built a drawing machine where detritus retrieved from the fire ravaged Geeveston landscape is used to expand on methods of expressive mark making. Located in Town Hall Underground - close to the earth and other times - Coad’s machine will make dry-point images that evolve over the course of the Tracing Impacts project and reflect upon the interdependence of nature and culture.
Presented through Contemporary Art Tasmania's Cobra program and supported by City of Hobart, 2020.
The collision of western culture and the continual cycle of new and eroding traces of civilisation in the natural environment, have constructed a landscape of layered narratives. The bush, on the outskirts of Geeveston is an in-between-place, functioning as an accumulative and transient dumping ground. Machinery and engine tubes spill from the ground resembling bodies and organs, while simultaneously mimicking the fallen trees.
The ruination and detritus imbedded in the environment are the essential tools that hold the landscape together. When the landscape is damaged, dug up and stripped away, we are not simply met with nature, we are again met with civilisation, and with a reminder of our own transience. We have been unveiled by the bushfires. Wires, nails, miscellaneous tools and fire scorched machine parts – these are our traces. Now, they are employed as drawing implements.
Expanding on methods of expressive mark making, Tim Coad has built a drawing machine. Connected to a power source, the machine will continuously draw by scratching marks onto a large aluminium sheet – which is fundamentally the process of a ‘dry-point’. Discarded materials are repurposed and met again with the new. The machine is clunky, the materials collide, and the marks are forced. Abrasive sound travels throughout the space, evoking the uncompromising experience of ‘urban-life’ cutting through local bush environments. The machine evokes a bodily sensitivity as its two motors spin in opposing directions, causing the machine to fight against itself. The drawing arm staggers and drags across the aluminium surface while restrained by the suspension wire, unable to roam. Once printed, the tangled and struggled movement of the fragile black lines reverberates within our marked landscape.
This project was supported through Contemporary Art Tasmania’s Cobra program and by the Hobart City Council.