2010 Fenner Conference Exhibition: Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney. Foyer Gallery, ANU School of Art, 22-26 June, 2010. Overview

Eighteen artists from the ANU School of Art who are participating in the Environment Studio 2010 Field Study, The Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney, exhibited artwork in the ANU School of Art Foyer Gallery, 22 – 26 June, 2010, as part of the 2010 Fenner Conference, Canberra, ACT.

Participating artists conducted field research in the Windsor / Richmond area during Semester 1, 2010. The artists were extensively briefed by researchers Tony Capon, Jane Dixon, Ferne Edwards and David Mason, Sydney’s contested landscape: food systems and health Research Project, both at the ANU and in the field. The artists have also consulted other experts, western Sydney landholders and community members.

The Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney Field Study wishes to thank the CSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship for its generous support.

The following photographs, by Marzena Wasikowska and John Reid, provide an overview of the exhibition. John Reid compiled the post.

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General View 1 (Right to left: John Reid, Madeleine Dornan, Marzena Wasikowska, Felicity Green, Felicity Green, Madeleine Dornan)

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John Reid Strawberry as Artefact 2010

150.0 x 100.0 cm / A5 leaflet

Purchased object. Metal, industrial paint. A4 printed-paper folded to A5

A5 Perspex leaflet holder

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Madeleine Dornan  Flora 2010

21.5  x 21.5 x  2.5cm


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Marzena Wasikowska  Western Sydney Landscape Contestants 1 – 4   2010

Left to right

1 Life style block

2 Intensive real estate development

3 Quarter acre block

4 Orchard

65.0 x 95.0 cm x4

Digital photographs on rag paper

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Felicity Green  Rabbid 2010

8.0 x 4.0 x 3.5 cm

Fruit stickers, ceramics

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Felicity Green  Cumberland Plains 1 – 4 2010

20.0 x 20.0 cm

Acrylic & ink on canvas

These four small paintings are a response to my first
 exploration of the area to be researched through Contested Landscapes. The
 country is vast and the landscape diverse in history and intent. The works
 are loosely based on the crumbling walls of a derelict site known as
 Scheyville, but suggest an aerial view as I come to terms with the 
landscape itself.

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Madeleine Dornan  Flora 2010

1. 13.0  cm  x 13.0 cm dia

2. 12.0  cm  x 13.0 cm dia

3.   9.0 cm  x 14.5 cm dia


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General View 2 (Left: Kerry Shepherdson)

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Kerry Shepherdson  Caution 2010

80.0 x 80.0 cm

Acrylic on canvas

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General View 3 (Centre to left: Suzanne Poutu, John Reid, Tony Dibley, Leo Robba)

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Suzanne Poutu  Haha 2010

100.0 x 80.0 cm

Photographic paper on board

My aim is to convey several aspects and
 concerns of the Hawkesbury Basin. In the coming years with the possibility of the population doubling; such
 areas of land will be even more valuable and important. Will it be too late? I also must question the use of 3rd grade sewerage water being channeled into
 the Hawkesbury River and used by the local fisheries, for irrigation and
 household use.

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John Reid  National Environment Bank: Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney

Commemorative Denomination Set 2010

10.1 x 15.8 cm x 3

Ink on archival paper

Left Mint Colour Proof $20 banknote 2010

29.7 x 21.0 cm

Stamp. Ink on archival paper

Right Specimen $10 and $50 banknotes 2010

29.7 x 21.0 cm

Ink on archival paper

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Tony Dibley  The Struggle 2010

49.0 x 73.0 cm

Digital print

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Leo  Robba  Contested Landscapes: Split Views  2010

64.0 x 80.0 cm x 2

Acrylic on canvas

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General View 4 (Centre to left: Kerry Shepherdson, Sue Kesteven [plynth], John Reid)

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Sue Kesteven  shadow / footprint 2010

9.3 x 66.2 x 37.4 cm

Cast Bullseye glass, engraved and sandblasted float glass

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Kerry Shepherdson  Branching Out 2010

60.0 x 60.0 cm

Acrylic on canvas

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John Reid

Pitt Town  NOT PITT STREET 2010

125.0 x 185.0 cm / A5 leaflet

Negotiated object. Form board, industrial paint

A4 printed-paper folded to A5

A5 Perspex leaflet holder

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General View 5 (Right to left: Claudia Bottrill [table], Aria Stone, Rosina Wainwright, Fran Ilford, Fran Ilford)

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Claudia Bottrill  Abundance 2010

Dimensions variable

Cast bronze (11 of 36 pieces) linen and table

Local produce, healthy communities

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Aria Stone  Scarecrow 2010

61.0 x 71.1 cm

Oil on linen

This painting was created as if from a child’s perspective. It takes a very simple and common sense view of the contested landscape issue. Even the scarecrow appears to be smart enough to know what should be done with the fertile land of Sydney’s food basin.

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Rosina Wainwright  Make it yours 2010

24.0 x 106.0 x 48.0 cm

Cardboard, paper

Australia now builds probably the biggest houses in the world, and one in seven new houses now replaces an existing house.  The Reserve Bank is concerned that Australians are investing in houses rather than housing.  I visited Harrington Park, Harrington Grove and Oran Park Town subdivisions in SW Sydney region as part of the Contested Landscapes project.  My work documents what I saw and my concern that we are building on valuable fertile soil.

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Fran Ifould  Enniskillen Orchard #1 (Artist book)  2010

62.0 cm extends to 120.0 cm

Ink and silk screen on Hahnemulhe paper

This visual response to the Contested Landscape field study has resulted in artwork directed by the serendipitous finding of disused silk screens, put out on the roadside for a council clean-up. The Real Estate slogans they carried were printed onto paper prior to the field work, thus producing a backdrop for ink drawings addressing the issue of urban sprawl into prime agricultural food growing areas of the Cumberland Plain. Produced plein air during field studies in the Windsor area, these final drawings intend to question the moral compass of developers in the light of recent population increases and food insecurity.

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Fran Ifould  Oran Park Dairy (Artist book)  2010

65.0 cm extends to 160.0 cm

Ink and silk screen on Hahnemulhe paper

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General View 6 (Left to right: Shirley Dunn [plynth], Kerry Richardson, Kerry Richardson, Kerry Richardson, Fran Ilford, Aria Stone, Aria Stone)

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Shirley Dunn  Only for houses (not food safe) 2010

Dimensions variable

Low-fired ceramics with aluminum silicate, manganese dioxide, copper carbonate, Hawkesbury River silt and maiolica glaze.

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Kerry Shepherdson

Fruit Farming (left); Turkey Town (centre);  Lost the Plot (right)  2010

45.0 x 45.0 cm x 3

Acrylic on canvas

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Fran Ifould  Cumberland Tapestry #3 2010

73.5 x 90.0 cm

Ink and silk screen in Hahnemulhe paper

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Aria Stone  Going…Going…Gone 2010

80.0 x 120.0 cm

Acrylic, oil and wax medium on canvas

This painting speaks about our precious history of small farming in the fertile basin of Sydney’s Western outer suburbs. It is all too common to realise the value of things once they are gone. Let us learn from our past mistakes and prevent the loss of this precious food recourse to housing development.

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Aria Stone  The Green Green Grass of Home 2010

80.0 x 120.0 cm

Acrylic, oil and wax medium on canvas

This painting depicts a dog urinating on a pile of folded turf. It begs the viewer to think about the value we hold for our green lawns and the price we pay in recourses and energy for that luxury. The contested landscapes of Sydney’s food basin include a turf war for precious fertile land that could alternatively be used to grow food for an ever increasing population. Is it time to re-evaluate the importance of turf in our contemporary suburban environment?

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General View 7 (Left: Shirley Dunn [plynth])

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Shirley Dunn  Only for houses (not food safe) 2010

Dimensions variable

Low-fired ceramics with aluminum silicate, manganese dioxide, copper carbonate, Hawkesbury River silt and maiolica glaze.

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General View 8 (Left to right: John Reid, John Reid, John Reid, Kevin Miller, Kevin Miller)

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John Reid Contested Landscape of Western Sydney:

(left) Carnes Trig, view to Hoxton Park 2010

(centre) Pitt Town Bottoms, view to Windsor

(right) Enniskillen Orchard Stall, view to Grose Valley


40.0 x 90.0 cm x 3

Digital print from 10×8 inch transparency

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Kevin Miller  Uninhabited 1 – 2 2010

59.4 x 82.0 cm x 2

Pigment on rag

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General View 9 (Left to right: Judith Fuller, Ursula Frederich, Ursula Frederich, Fran Ifould, Carolyn Young)

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Judith Fuller  Rural to Urban 2010

27.0 x 20.0 cm

Mixed media on canvas

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Ursula Frederich  Drive in Eggs 2010

42.0 x 29.7 cm

Woodcut on Kozo paper

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Ursula Frederich  Grown in Western Sydney 2010

14.8 x 10.5 cm

Ink, paper

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Fran Ifould  Oran Park Dairy #1-It’s Sold 2010

73.5 x 90.0 cm

Ink and silk screen on Hahnemulhe paper

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Carolyn Young  Untitled (Backyard Harvest) 2010

71.0 x 82.0 cm

Type C print

“The land that is best for agriculture happens to be best for building too. But it is limited – and once destroyed, it cannot be regained for centuries.”
 Alexander et al. (1977, p27)

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General View 10 (Centre: Sally Simpson [plynth])

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Sally Simpson  Artefacts, Bell’s Line of Road 2010

Dimensions variable

Found materials

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See the artwork in this exhibition together with artwork from another 20 artists from the Sydney Gallery School who also have been making work in response to the contested landscapes of western Sydney. The combined exhibition will open in the See Street Gallery, Meadowbank TAFE, Sydney, Thursday 19 August, 2010. The exhibition will run until Wednesday 2 September, 2010.


  1. Fran

    This looks great. So sorry i could not attend the opening, but show looks good. Please note my new email adress, cheers Fran

  2. Nancy T.

    Wow, some excellent material here. It would be very cool if the featured artists could exhibit their work in the U.S. someday, as we have one of the premier modern art museums in the country (sfmoma.org).

  3. Chris Cooke

    Hi I’m trying to make contact with artist Suzanne Poutu.


    I would like to contact Sally Simpson. to talk with her about an artist-in-residence program run by the YATOO Korean Nature Artist’s Association. I have done a 4 week stint in Gongju South Korea last year and it was fabulous. I have a blog on my web site.

    Alos Yatoo has reached out on the internet to provide a platform for artists around the world who practice ‘nature’ art . Check out Yatooi.

    0417 455 108

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