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Sea of Houses

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Sea of Houses: For REGROWTH - A 9 day temporary public art project
Curator: Steven Alderton
Date: 2003
Location: Redland Art Gallery and various sites across Redland Shire
Medium: Oyster Shells, Soil, Tomato stakes

The issues surrounding the massive migration of people to South East Qld are topical. If poorly planned the impact we make on the environment and animal habitat will be severe. The Redland Shire has experienced rapid urban growth and the once fertile land is now encrusted with houses.

On my many walks around the bay and on the Moreton Bay Islands, I drew and collected a lot of natural objects and photographed selected phenomena within the natural environment. I loved the oysters because they cluster and grow over the rocks - and they were a way I could reference growth over time. When I started stacking them together in the studio they began to look like shingles or tiling for roofs.

I have used a combination of natural and man made materials to make my Sea of Houses and relay the idea of 'nature conquering industry'.The oyster shells are a reference to nature, animal and marine, and the red soil represents the fertility of the land so characteristic of the Redland Shire. Over a nine day period I placed these houses in groups at various locations within the Redland Shire.  Each day another house was added to each group.

I see these houses as a kind of harvesting. They comment on and make us think about environmental damage as a result of our urban sprawl and living habits. It's almost as if the houses are strange mutations, perhaps natures' intervention and adaptation in the future. Anything is possible as species evolve through time as a response to climatic and environmental changes within their habitats.