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2007 | Outside is the Real Place

Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame Kalgoorlie 2007

Helen Seiver's work translates the landscape of the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia as both physical and subjective space. While torn story book pages, found artefacts, text and oil paint are used as elusive fragments fundamental to her translation, t he physical layering of the various components and elements is vital to the process.

The use of story book pages reflects an endeavour to decode the values and ideals absorbed as a child of the 1950's while reading thrilling adventure stories of exploration and colonization. These stories maintained the distant gaze of the child reader as 'the other', from what was real. The actual effects of colonization on Indigenous Australians like dislocation from culture, language and land and genocide and for the explorers and colonists themselves, isolation, hardship and often death, was invisible to the child reader. The found artifacts are perhaps a more honest translation of the 'adventure' and space, that of vestiges and scraps of left over dreams.

The work for outside is the real place has been further inspired by the shared experiences of Helen and husband Joshua Ledger during an arts residency at Goongarrie during April 2007. Prose written during the residency by Joshua and embedded in the paintings is a further layer and element to the reflection of the Goldfields.