THE RIVER HANG
Vanishing Point: Swan Hoppers Legacy
Julie Montgarrett, Vic McEwan, Clytie Smith
This spectacular installation spans the width of the Murrumbidgee River at Second Beach in the Common.
This textile work, constructed from cloth discarded as part of the relentless cycle of fashion and chance, comes from the domestic realm. Its industrially designed patterns are a stylised homage to the beauty of the natural world yet their manufacture was central to the destruction of the same exquisite order in the fragile landscapes that sustain us.
The cloth carries the colours and histories of the black swans and other birds that once filled similar spaces above the rivers across south-east Australia in their millions before the determined destruction by Swan Hoppers and the relentless demands of industrial scale development. This textile points to many things most especially to the unseen energies and sounds of this place. The fragments and geometry refer to the building blocks and logic of complex fluid ecologies. It is imprinted with the rhythms and traces of water, of creatures, shadows, sediments and energies of life. This textile is as tenuous and fragile as the river’s own survival – the resilience of both is strained to breaking point.