This work was short-listed in the Togart 09 Contemporary Art Award.
This small scale cardboard sculpture depicts one of my most treasured experiences.
This memory combines nostalgia, a love of the emptiness of Australia and an easy, sisterly companionship.
It also involves my car.
My car, a 1964 Ford Falcon XM sedan, is a dream of chrome and stream-lining but it is old and it is slow.
In 2000, in an episode of defiance, against good sense, distance and physics, my sister and I drove this car across Australia and back to surprise our mum for her 50th birthday. As kids our family would regularly make the trek up and down the Stuart Highway. These early trips were about speed and getting to our destination. We were car bound for 15 hours a day; meals were prepacked and toilet stops timed to coincide with refuelling. My sister and I were well trained in efficient road travel.
My car was not.
The old engine and small radiator meant we motored at a gentle 50 mile /hr and, every 3 – 4 hours, the car needed to cool down. So, a couple of times a day, with a thermos of coffee and a couple of camping chairs, we waited. In the vast, red, empty space we waited like grand dames of the interior. With the bonnet popped, on the side of the road we were characters in our own Merchant Ivory production.
With a different car, the mood might have been ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Vanishing Point’ or there may have been no need to stop in the middle of nowhere at all.
Some of these photos are by Erica Lauthier.
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