Salt Water Country - Work In Progress
Lanterns Walk - Kendall Lane, the Rocks
Goldberg Aberline Studio with GrahamT
oomey,
and Art 
Pharmacy 

(This WIP is best viewed on a desktop)

Friday 24 Sept

Final creative meeting with GAS and Toomey
Thurs 23 Sept

Final prototype testing (with a substitute art fabric print) 
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Water proof LED flood light built into top

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The light connects to a extension cord, connection hidden internally within an all weather box

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The top and bottoms are lacquered 3cm thick plywood

(the top has THREE very high rated galvanised steel rigging points) 

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The fabric is stapled through a webbing channel into the ply wood so an attractive edge is exposed

(here it's only partially stapled for demo purposes)

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The base is stained wood

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6.25 mm fibre glass rods (typically used for yachting) are inserted into webbing channels. Each channel has a capacity of over 500kgs. 

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Each channel is stitched three times. There are six channels in each lantern. 

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An outdoor extension cord runs outs of the lantern via the hanging rigging

Test Prints created by GAS using Toomey symbols:
Looking at scale, story tellingcohesiveness

Graham Toomey Symbols:

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Construction of frames
Video of cutting and finishing bases:

Test Installation 

Video: Looking at rigging options for stability and access to power with prototype lanterns for scale:

Texts:

 

100 words: Saltwater Country is a collaborative artwork between Goldberg Aberline Studio and Graham Toomey, an Indigneous artist of the Wurrumunga Clan of the Wiradjuri nation and the Wongaibon nation. It shines a light on the rich history and ongoing cultural spirit of Indigneous people on Sydney Harbour. Hundreds of generations have walked through this land, from grandmothers to warriors and families ...can you feel the presence of their spirit? Saltwater country illuminates this very real presence, and the endurance of the Indigenous culture. In a unique co-design process, which involved an exchange of stories and ideas, during drawing sessions, this series of lanterns represents the spirit of the Gadigal clan - the Saltwater people.

 

300 words: Saltwater Country is a collaborative artwork between Goldberg Aberline Studio - GAS and Graham Toomey, an Indigneous artist of the Wurrumunga Clan of the Wiradjuri nation and the Wongaibon nation. In a unique co-design process, which involved an exchange of stories and ideas during drawing sessions, a series of lanterns were designed that represent the spirit of the Gadigal clan - the Saltwater people. 

 

This artwork is not just about the past, but the ongoing presence of Indigneous people and the spirit of the Dreaming that exists all around us. The Rocks hold’s a rich indigenous culture and history that reaches back tens of thousands of years. Hundreds of generations have walked through this land, grandmothers and warriors and families ...can you feel the presence of their spirit? Saltwater country illuminates this very real presence, quite literally shining a light on the endurance of the Indigenous culture. 

 

“Country is the heart. Country shares its spirit with us which provides the air, energy and spirit for our lives. Country means creators, ancestors, family, belonging, connection, cultural knowledge, stories and our thoughts and feelings in everyday life. This beautiful harbour has been our home for tens of thousands of years. I’m a proud Aboriginal man who has lived on Gadigal land and around this harbour for much of my adult life. This artwork is a very spiritual and personal view on some of the themes that I feel are important to me about this special part of Australia where our people have been for over 1000 generations.” 

- Graham Toomey 

 

The artworks were designed by hand and then digitised and printed on a new textile that was created from 100% recycled PET drinking bottles. The lanterns are illuminated from within, and are very light - made with strong fibre-glass and aluminium rods. By day they inject colour into the Rocks Laneway. At night they light up and transform the space into a glowing landscape. 

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THE LANTERNS THEMES ARE:

Helping us all walk through the dark. Lanterns provide light and therefore life. Our sun, fire and the moon also give us light. We have always gathered at night and lit fires. We do this to follow cultural lore, protocols, practices, customs, healing, while importantly connecting to the spirit of our creators, ancestors and to Country. Fires are a powerful and spiritual beacon which protects, comforts and heal us. 

 

The fire is the heart of community – ceremonies, entertainment, dancing, body decoration while singing around fires and sharing and learning culture and stories. 

 

We honour and respect women's roles on Saltwater country. Women are the gatherers of fish and dry native foods, they are the carers and nurturers of the family. Women used nets made from bark and plants while their fishing lines were made of hooks carved from turtle shells. Women also created clothing using fur from animals and created baskets from native plants. 

 

We honour and respect the men’s roles. Men were the protectors... of the family, women and children and keepers of cultural knowledge. Men hunted for food and made stone tools, spears, boomerangs and other tools used for daily life. Men also created art, documen7ng sacred places, cultural knowledge and stories. 

 

We lived in, worked and protected Nature and its fresh water. Native plants which are our food and medicinal source, they also are colourful and beautiful. The beautiful Golden Wattles leaves are used with water to bathe and clean children and families. The beautiful Lilly Pillies are used as medicines for women during pregnancy and for birthing. As the 8 seasons evolved throughout the year, we adapted and responded to the changes as the means for survival. 

 

There are many creation stories and beliefs that differ around the country. On Saltwater Country belonging to the Gadigal, the ancient creation story of the whale and its role in the creation of the harbour is one. The Emu constellation which consumes the milky way, is a dreaming story that captures time and place while also symbolising the birth of emus.