MIGRATORY WORDS, MIGRATORY WORLDS

Elizabeth Day, Migratory Words, Migratory Worlds: From Liverpool (UK) to Liverpool (NSW), and Back Again, article in Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture, Vol 2, Issue 1, 2011.

ABSTRACT – This paper relates to my practice as an installation artist. Art itself is intimately caught up in the idea and process of migration and mutation, of the mutation that occurs when one migrates, when one is transplanted. Each mutates the other, forming a new hybrid, a mutant, from this becoming, this at once deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation. Migration puts one on a journey without end, where each putting down of roots is at the same time an uprooting, and vice versa. Such is the transplant, a person of displacement, a forever displaced person, a diaspora in oneself. The work discussed here is intimately related to the earth and to earth, and its powers and processes, its creativity. The works that I am showing might also be linked to the trope of the stranger, as ‘no owner of soil’.

The two series of works discussed, involve the use of earth. There are the Post-minimalist gallery or outdoor works and also a community garden work in a prison. This imagery of earth is for me inescapably related to the uprooting of my family and its putting down roots in Tasmania, becoming ‘Tasmanians’ in the process. The works also indicate the special attachment Tasmanians have to the earth and to the preservation of the natural environment. I foreground the work of the pioneering American post-Minimal earth artist Robert Smithson as key influence on my work.

Journal available through https://www.intellectbooks.com/crossings-journal-of-migration-culture

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