The ‘mining boom’ is leaving an irreversible impression on the Australian landscape. Why can’t we see this?

Perhaps we see it but it doesn’t register within us. This tapestry piece plays with the relationship of depth and adds another dimension of spatiality to passers-by at the gallery. The tapestry appears to penetrate deep into the wall, as an open-cut mine penetrates ruthlessly into the Earth.

Its colours resemble an Australian landscape being gradually destroyed as it moves towards the centre, into the dark hole. From the outside of the tapestry, the earthen tones of the desert appear unaffected, until the disturbing cutting begins. The impressions of the ruthless digging then penetrate deeper and spiral inwards, towards a dark, unrecognisable centre.

Scale is uncertain. With little to relate to, one is unsure of the enormity of this catastrophe. One is left bewildered, curious and concerned. The concentric levels of the mine change in colour as one moves towards the centre of the work, seeming to disappear into the wall.

The tapestry is a metaphor for the violent destruction being imposed on Australia’s ancient and fragile landscapes, as well as serving as a transitionary piece as one moves towards the Indigenous galleries, adding another layer to its meaning and spatial character.

The title of this work is a play on the Australian colloquialism for an automated teller machine (‘ATM’), commonly referred to as a ‘hole in the wall’ – a money dispensing apparatus. Similarly, the concept of a mine is exactly that: a hole in the earth, torn up and dispensed in exchange for economic gain.