Ideas Platform

Megan Cope

23 Jun – 10 Jul 2016

Above: Megan Cope, 'Bereft', 2016, installation view, Ideas Platform, Artspace, Sydney. Photo: Jessica Maurer
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia
Thursday 23 June, 6 – 8pm

From the time of arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 until the end of the nineteenth century at least, lime was produced in a number of ways, including by the simple heap-burning or pit-burning processes. Until the 1920’s, when local supplies of limestone began to be utilised, most of the lime was produced from sea shells. This practice continued late into the century in some districts. The early dependence on shell, which is a scattered and limited resource and occurring as Aboriginal shell middens, necessitated either transport of shell to a central kiln, or the use of simple and cheap burning methods at the location of the shell deposits.

– Australian Historical Archaeology 8, 1990. Pearson.

In archaeological terms, a midden is a mound or deposit containing shells, animal bones, and other refuse that indicates the site of a human settlement. The removal of Aboriginal architectural forms such as middens, as well as the continued mining and excavation of other sacred sites, renders a landscape void of markers once used to navigate through country — to find our way home. What's left is a framework that upholds an invasive colonial narrative while obscuring, submerging and erasing Aboriginal presence on the land. 

Megan Cope is represented by THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne.