Fence (Kelgoola), 2015
This work observes the aesthetic and social aspects of the country fence. Fence (Kelgoola) observes this man-made barrier, exploiting it in terms of repurposed functionality, leading to misuse and eventual decay.
Extracted from the ground in the artist’s family property in Megalong Valley (Kegoola), this fence is both a material form that alludes to a persistent man-made presence in the Australian environment whilst existing as an artefact of family memory, ancestry and connection to place. The fence was originally part of a boundary on the 160 acres of land in Megalong Valley, forming a once existent barrier that has now been removed and placed within the confines of the historic Bird’s Hut.
The former location of this bundle of wire, the Megalong ‘Kelgoola’ acerage, was given it’s property title by my father, Tom Williams. This land titling is a family ritual that can be traced to my great grandmother, Irene Alice Sheridan, whom used the title throughout a number of family-owned properties located in NSW. My father has continued this naming tradition, using the same name for our successive family properties in the Upper Blue Mountains.
It is likely that Ms. Sheridan adopted the name of Kelgoola as a result of family visits to her uncle’s property located near Ganguddy (Dunn’s Swamp), in the vicinity of Mt. Kelgoola. The location of this property is in very close proximity, and perhaps now forms part of the Bird family property (location of Bird’s Hut, the exhibition space), located on the edges of the Wollemi National Park. The Bird and Williams family properties in Megalong Valley and Ganguddy are both connected through their linkages to Mt. Kelgoola and the Central West Region. This connection is marked by the relocation of this fence, from Kelgoola to Bird’s Hut.
Here, the bundle of fencing detritus sits unified beneath the watchful gaze of the original Kelgoola house sign.