On the day before the opening of Landscapes of Survival and Reconciliation by Jim Anderson I went to 107 Projects hoping to sneak a peek. I got lucky. The artist was actually “in the house” and while the final touches were being made to the hanging, he offered me a “walk and talk” tour of his show.
The works use photos, collage and scanned images to explore themes of survival and reconciliation, and have been quite a while in the making …
After 30 years living in London and then northern California, Jim had trouble relating to city life in Sydney. To counter his disconnect he got involved with Mardi Gras and joined the gay (and sometime nude) bushwalkers of SCOG (Southern Cross Outdoors Group). Shortly after, he began photographing the terrain of the trails that he and his fellow walkers explored in the Blue Mountains and the coastal national parks.
“Always there were rapturous discoveries. In our different ways we were all entranced with the colours, the creatures and the complexity of the forests, the creeks and canyons, the bush generally. Over the years that love has aged and deepened.”
Over time Jim became aware that the bush trails they walked upon may well have been used since time immemorial by the First Nation’s peoples who walked, not just these trails, but wherever they journeyed and thrived across this vast and ancient continent.
In response to this realisation, Jim’s work fuses photos of the bushwalking group with cultural symbols and sites.
Look into the canvases to find Jim’s design for a new flag that includes us all, Paradise Pool, Pan with a didgeridoo, a blue koala surveying the wreckage left by last summer’s bushfires, and so much more. This exhibition is a colourful odyssey through the layers of Jim’s life and the stuff that matters to him.
Visit the magical hybrid he has created and enjoy the soundtrack of birdsong that accompanies and enhances this urban billabong.
Landscapes of Survival and Reconciliation
107 Redfern St, Redfern NSW 2016
Until 15 November 2020