index
archive
resume
notes
last
next

Margaret Roberts Polygon Landscape 2013 (triwall cardboard and Kandos) in Cementa13, contemporary art festival in Kandos, NSW February 1- 4, 2013. ( Sentinal 01 by Daniel Stocks is also just visible on the green box beside the fireplace). Thanks to Margaret Seymour. Photo: Jo Rankine

To make Polygon Landscape, forty polygons were cut from 2m x 1m sheets of triwall cardboard and laid out on the floor of the Kandos Scout Hall for identification by local residents, or by anyone with a visual memory of the town. Each polygon is the shape of the street-view of a randomly selected Kandos house, with details such as chimneys and eaves removed for ease of cutting (by circular saw) and to increase ambiguity. This ambiguity is also found in the open blankness of the unmarked triwall cardboard.

The ambiguity was encouraged so that people could see each polygon's likeness to the house in which it originated, but also to emphasise the connectedness between all things or the broader challenges of identification, etc. This reduced specificityalso reflects the general dissolution of forms that occurs with long periods of time - the 'entropy' Robert Smithson writes about, the missing noses and arms on statues of antiquity, the generalisation of forms burned by fires and damaged in floods, and so on. It also reflects the joint individual and collective ownership of and responsibility for places, something that may be more evident in towns than in cities and which can extend from individual houses in which people live to the entire planet where we all live. It also enables the work to be located in the memories of Kandos people and anyone who knows that particular place, as that is where the abstraction of the polygons can be converted back into the specific place and history in which they originated.

The polygons were laid out in rows in the Scout Hall to simulate the process of identifying bodies after disasters, thinking of how we only begin to realise how much we value things after they are lost, and thinking of how much this applies to what is currently being lost through the last century's lack of care of the environment in which we live. In inviting residents to try to recognise a shape and take it home and care for it, the work is also inviting people to recognise the value of this broader home. It is a ritual act of caring for a home that might magically catch on and extend to the whole planet if enough people do it.