Public

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images by Alexandra Hullah

Forest Specular
2020. Stainless steel, 2.2m x 1.5m, 1300 convex stainless steel mirrors.
Fabrication by Stuart Houghton

The Forest Specular was installed along the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and reflects the forests of the Palawa people, a forest saved from devastation.

This lush ecosystem and its multitude of other-than-human inhabitants remains today thanks to the tireless efforts of campaigners during the Franklin Dam protests. One of the most significant campaigns in Australia’s environmental history, the battle to stop the Franklin dam spanned across five years from 1977-83, and led to over 1300 arrests. The work consists of over 1300 individually custom-shaped convex mirrors, a mirror for each person arrested, while the shape is based on a river rock, and is a nod to Rock Island Bend by Peter Dombrovskis.

Part of the spirit and success of the campaign was to let the river and forest “speak for itself”[1], to show the world the beauty of this place.
Wild places have a right to exist, with or without us. We must also remember that they are a part of us; an integral part of our humanness.

”When you go out there you don’t get away from it all, you get back to it all. You come home to what’s important. You come home to yourself”[2]

[1] Bob Brown, former Greens party leader and conservationist, instrumental in the success of the Franklin Dam campaign.

[2] Peter Dombrovskis, wilderness photographer who produced Rock Island Bend, a now iconic image that helped sway public opinion to save the Franklin-Gordon.

This work was commissioned for the Western Wilds Journeys project under the Corporate Art Scheme.

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