Shoalwan: River Through Fire, River of Ice, 2003 page 1 go to page 2

In 2002 I was an artist in residence at Bundanon, situated on the Shoalhaven River near Canberra, Australia.  Throughout the previous month fires had raged through the area and continued to smoulder and burn sporadically in the bush land across the river. Each day I walked for many hours in the intense heat , staying close to the river, collecting material often singed or burned in the fire's wake.

My home in rural Edmonton is situated near the North Saskatchewan River, where I also spend  time walking and collecting.  Winter is the most interesting time because the river is starting to undergo the freezing cycle. First the lily pad-like shapes form on the water surface  and as  temperatures dip the shapes get larger till they form a solid surface. This time of year is my focus  because of the stark contrast to my experience in Australia.

Each component of the installation grew intuitively as a response to my engagement with the two rivers. Even though they translate different aspects of these experiences, the various fragments are connected by the repetition of the 7,500 glass jars representing the river. The diverse elements allow me to construct a visual experience which can suggest different levels of meaning: nature/culture, fragility/power and preservation/extinction. I sense the wholeness which comes through the disparate elements and it is this, which helps me understand our lives on this planet.

Lyndal Osborne, 2003

photo: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
dimensions: 3 x 70 x 35 feet
Mixed media installation: recycled glass jars, papier mache, hundreds of natural, industrial discards

photo: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

photo: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
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