Hidden Waters combines two distinct series of works centred around the story of the Perth aquifers and lake systems.
The first series created from ink, gouache, and silver leaf, highlights the story of Perth’s water systems over history. As the West Australian Museum states, more than half a million acres (202342ha) of wetlands ha(ve) been drained, filled in and built upon” on the Swan Coastal Plain (n.d., para 1). Using the gestural freedom of semi-abstraction to reflect the movement of water, this piece tells a narrative of this ecological change from left to right. First panels show the power of our underground aquifers in sandy layers. I have next shown these surges resolving into the string of lakes which are were later built over and filled in, represented by the use of regular shapes towards the end of the narrative.
Using digital collage in the second series, I seek to convey the presence of water beneath the surface of the land, linking places and people together despite urbanisation. I aim to represent the ongoing presence of this water source and its importance to sustaining life, while also warning of the ecological problems that come when Indigenous knowledge is ignored, and water sources are mistreated.