Oscar with a canvas experiment in Stockton, NSW. This canvas was left on a verandah to gather dust for 18 months.
The Dust Project is an art project that visually represents aesthetic and scientific forms of knowledge in the exploration of the issue of air pollution in the Hunter Valley. It is also a geographically based environmental initiative resulting in artworks that will be combined with scientific analysis of dust particles found in the Hunter Valley region. The artworks are created by falling dust/pollution, giving a visual representation of what we breathe. So far I have conducted visual experiments collecting dust on canvas surfaces for over two years in Stockton, East Maitland and Nelson Bay. The next step is a two stage project initiative; Dust 1 and Dust 2.
Currently (late 2018/early 2019) I am placing approximately 43 unframed random sized canvas piece at various locations throughout the Hunter Valley to collect dust over a one year period. The canvas pieces will be collected and stitched together to give a visual reference to a patchwork, or rather, an aerial view of pockets of land. Each piece and its location will be sampled to determine what is present in the dust. The resulting work will be exhibited in 2020 (venue to be confirmed).
INSTRUCTIONS for hosts……
If you were given a piece of canvas by a friend for this project (thank you for being involved!) could you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org….so I can stay in touch with you directly, or so that you can ask me any questions. I will update my site/blog when I can with news about the project.
The canvas is to be laid down or pinned to an exterior wall, white side down, raw side up. Rocks, bricks, thread can be used to hold the edges down. I’m not precious about pets walking over it either. It only adds to it!
The canvas is best left in an outside area that is semi exposed or fully exposed to the elements and dust. This could include under a verandah, under a chair on a verandah, pinned under an eave, under a house along the edge so as to catch some rain etc. Some have asked if they can put it on the roof with some bricks to hold it down? Sure! Why not? After all this is an artistic experiment. You can always move it around if you like, or just leave it and forget about it, and let the wind and the elements do the creative work. One thing to note is that the spot you choose should dry out, and not constantly be damp, as this may lead to canvas rot.
At some stage in early 2020 I will collect the pieces (I will apply fixative to surface when I collect them), hoping they will have formed a nice patina. Collect dust samples from most or all locations (depending on what I can afford!), and collate it as part of my next body of work, ready to be viewed with your contribution at a gallery in Newcastle. I have one in mind, but it is yet to be signed off on!
DUST 1 is the experimental precursor to Dust 2, a more involved research based project with some help from 360dustanalysis.com, for which I need to source funding for:
Chemical analysis of dust found on canvas from Stockton. This analysis was done by a friend who works in a lab.
Detail of canvas. The original canvas is white, clean and painted with a clear adherent. The falling dust adheres to the canvas, forming the image. The results are unpredictable and varies from location to location. Different adherents work better in different locations. Perhaps this depends on the chemical make up of the dust? For DUST 2 I will be placing canvases as far as Tea Gardens as they have recorded coal dust there, even though the closest mine is 40km away.
Visual representation of collated canvases. The 2nd stage of the project is to sample up to 100 residences across the Hunter Region. A canvas will be left at each location.
Cathy with her canvas experiment at Stockton Chris and Steve from East Maitland, living near the rail line.
Artist with canvas experiment from East Maitland
Selected Past Projects
Have you been to Lowly, Mr Rann ?
Short film/documentary addressing the concerns with the proposed industrial development at Point Lowly (40 km from Whyalla, SA) 2009; Company: d’faces of youth arts; Makers: Suzannah Jones with members of d’faces of youth arts, including Lauren Pearce and James Gilbert; With help from: d’faces AD Susi Skinner
Art on Wheels
Company: d’faces of youth arts; Creative Producer: Suzannah Jones; Artists: James Cochran and Indigenous Artist Willy Carbine
Photographer: Randy Larcombe; Partners: Plaza Youth Centre, Whyalla
Funded by: Arts SA, SAYAB, Country Arts SA, Whyalla City Council,Health Promotions SA, Gordon Darling Foundation. Aerosol art workshops with Whyalla youth, with the main participants identifying as Indigenous, or Bungala. These workshops culminated in a mobile art van, and book documenting the process and outcome in the arid surrounds of Whyalla. Images by Randy Larcombe. This project took place on Bungala Land.
A theatre project inspired by the relationships that developed between young people living in Whyalla and young refugees living in the now defunct Baxter Detention Centre, near Port Augusta. Company: d’faces of youth arts Creative Producer: Suzannah Jones; Written by Bryan Martin; Directed by Priya Goldfinch. Funded by Australia Council for the Arts, SAYAB, Arts SA, Whyalla City Council, Health Promotions SA.
The heart drawn image above was created by Daniel, a young refugee in Baxter Detention Centre. It was given to a young member of d’faces of youth arts whom he befriended, his name also Daniel. This friendship inspired the play.
Nothing Better to Do
A film project developed in response to a negative media comment by a prominent local who stated that young women in Whyalla had ‘nothing better to do than to have babies’. Company: d’faces of youth arts; Partners: Edward John Eyre High School: Creative Producer: Suzannah Jones; Film makers: Heather Croal and Chris Johnson; Company Manager; Cathy Thompson. Funded by SAYAB, Arts SA, SA Health Promotions, Community Benefit SA, Country Arts SA, Whyalla City Council.
Massive Art was a long term aerosol art program tutored by James Cochran (aka Jimmy C). Participants did many walls throughout the community, with some participants gaining commission work. Whyalla City Council also reported a significant decrease in vandalism at public buildings painted with a Massive Art mural. Funding; SAYAB, Country Arts SA, Whyalla City Council, SA Health Promotions, Community Benefit SA
The Nunga Dance Program, tutored by Felix Kerry and Nikki Ashby, was part of the ongoing arts program delivered by d’faces of youth arts. Two of our members were selected for NAISDA. Program Manager: Suzannah Jones, Funded by SAYAB, Health Promotions SA, Country Arts SA, Whyalla City Council
Fishy Fringe Festival
A mini arts festival based in Whyalla, co-founded by Suzannah with a community group called CREATE. Suzannah was responsible for the Artistic Programme. The week long Festival was seen as an opportunity for community groups and individuals to present their own shows, exhibitions, and performances as part of the festival, as well as bringing in visiting artists. Funded by OneSteel, Whyalla City Council, Country Arts SA, Festivals Australia. This festival continues, yet it is not as it was.
Company: d’faces of youth arts, Concept by Sasha Zahra, Directed by Jo Zealand, Choreography by Cat James-Gutierrez, Written by Finnegan Krukemeyer, Set Design by Susie Skinner and Jo Zealand, Art work by James Cochran, Project Managed/Produced by Suzannah Jones. A theatre production exploring the issue of youth unemployment in regional/remote areas. Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, SAYAB, Country Arts SA, Whyalla City Council.