When we started working on the Subterranean exhibition, the emergence of European fairy tale characters warping and changing the local landscape was a metaphor for the impact of white colonisation on the Australian environment. As the work progressed, specific stories matched the menace of the surroundings, such as Bluebeard at the old Glandore Boys Home. With the national investigation of child abuse in institutions, the personification of domestic violence is an ominous presence as he climbs into the grounds of what is now a community centre, blurring the past with the present.
A month ago the story broke of contaminated groundwater near the old Mitsubishi factory in the Marion Council District. Vapour from the contamination was working its way through the walls of buildings in the area. The poisonous presence of Bluebeard climbing through the window of the old Pea Farm Ruins after emerging from under the ground takes on new meaning.
Bluebeard at Glandore, Continental Bakery wall, Almond Grove Road, Glandore
Bluebeard at the Pea Farm, O’Halloran Hill, on the Bernard and Keryn Brown Furnishers wall, 1262 South Road, Clovelly Park