Artist Statement – Anne Kwasner / George Catsi
Response to the cultural, historical, social or metaphorical aspect of the Coal Loader site (Waverton, Sydney).
The artwork encapsulates the layers of history that the coal loader site maintains. The suitcases are representative of passages of time. The metaphorical journey, like a diaspora but taken within itself. Through adaption, interpretation, it moves to another. When on a journey one’s suitcase holds all that is precious, important, valued.
Buried in the base of the artwork the first suitcase holds the coal, the precious item that underpins the site. The coal’s physical presence, whilst not in the actual bedrock of the site, is the reason for its current existence. The sustainability is a response to the current non-sustainability of coal. Coal the pariah. Each layer of suitcases interpretatively brings us up through the historical stratum. Shards of plates and shoes, tea pots and clocks, once useful, now useless, like social remnants, cultural detritus, scattered through the cases. Doll parts and real bones intermingle in a dance.
Poa labillardieri, common tussock grass, a native, symbolically grows from the top of one of the suitcases drawing the eye to the sustainable powers of the environment and robustness to survival, if given a chance.