Of Things Past

Seedling Art Space, Blackwood Forest, SA, 2010

There is a land that remembers, holding stories seldom heard, stretching deep and far back to the beginning. It saw the changes, smelt them coming, felt them, bore them. Holds them still, though they’re gone and the land lives on.

You can understand how it happened, can’t you? They only wanted the best for themselves, their kids and society really. After all, what’s more wholesome than a freshly picked apple? A home-grown pear? Surely you can understand that in these times of slow food and food miles.

And if the land proved difficult, well, in those modern times there were things that could be done. You wouldn’t believe the wonders emerging: powders and sprays that could kill the critters, stop the weeds in their tracks, give new life to tired soil. And yes, the land might be dry in summer, and bloody hot, but that was nothing a bit of water wouldn’t fix.

You can see it can’t you? The hope for the land, the dreams, of neat planted rows, of food for market, jams and pickles. Of a brave new world.

A brave new world, tamed and groomed in the image of the old. The old world where leaves turned to copper and stories grew among the pine forests. Where one bite from a poisoned apple betrayed a child; where stolen fruit brought the loss of paradise.

But of course it couldn’t last. The elixirs of life, of abundance and fertility carried the stench of death; a doom of poison and heavy metals leached deep into the land.

Every thing holds a shadow.

So the dreams of new strains and produce, grown in the laboratory of the brave new world, curled up and died with the cracking, crumbling land; blew away with the topsoil in a hot north wind.

Can you feel it though? There’s a whisper of it on the breeze: the sound of work, the smell of hope, and the lightly teasing touch of dreams.

The land lives on.

Melinda Rankin, 2010


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Snow White
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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When we were young
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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Fair Maiden
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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William S. Burroughs
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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Eve
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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Lost
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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Just add Water
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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The Tom tree
Hand cut avocado leaf, copper electroformed
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Untitled
Installation - camera obscura (with view to oak tree planted 19th century) - fabric, 19th century telescope lens
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Of Things Past
Former experimental orchard office building, phosphorescent paint