In 1995 MacDonald turned again to her home town as the setting for an allegory about natural history collecting and the expulsion of the Darambal people. Titled Close and installed in the Interpretive Centre at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, one work shows the garden’s first curator in the midst of a profusion of tropical species tamed by labelling. A huge appliqued butterfly shadows the entire image in mockery. In another, her grandfather lays a wreath for those killed in wars. A latter two part work also about the gardens, titled Arc, 1997 refers to the joining of two points on a map and delineates a symbolic scar across the land. Arc as with Close juxtaposes images made from curding glass negatives, one of the Darambal real world, the other of the introduced fernery. Darambal people were forcibly dispersed to create this eden.
Jo Holder. ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’, Art & Australia 40/4 p. 610-617
All Art Works: 34 x 21 cm woven sepia toned photographs with steel specimen pins in hand made local quondong frames finished with black japan.
Art Work source images: courtesy the Central Queensland Collection, Rockhampton Regional Council Libraries and the Capricornia Collection, University of Central Queensland