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Gestures of the Landscape

Izabela Pluta, Untitled [Wind Turbine], (2009).
Izabela Pluta, Untitled [Sign], (2009).
Izabela Pluta, Untitled [Convict Yard], (2009).

Gestures of the Landscape

Concerned with experiences of place, Izabela Pluta’s work investigates spaces both public and private. Pluta is interested in the juxtaposition of the landscape and as an immutable condition and as a temporary space of inhabitation. Through the land, the artist explores mediated feelings of impermanence and belonging. Focusing on centres of the resource industry in Western Australia, such as the Pilbara, Gestures of the Landscape examines the semi-permanent, ‘fly-in-fly-out’ lifestyle which defines existence for many in these areas. This project delves into the transient nature of Western Australia’s mining towns. Pluta considers sites in transition, pegged as they are to the ebbs and flows of the economy. Gestures of the Landscape depicts a built environment that can be unhinged, collapsed, packed up and then moved to another place in which it can serve its purpose all over again. In these places - the impermanence of social infrastructure is at odds with the intransient landscape.

Using photo media, drawing and text works, Pluta explores sites through her own experience and intervention within the space. Her imagery investigates how an empty site may invoke longing; how site of redundant urban landscape evoke an interstitial space; how images void of human presence become distant while retaining a familiarity; and how images can provoke us to feel a longing for what is no longer there. This project was developed as a response to a research trip from Perth to Darwin through towns including Newman, Wittenoom, Karratha, Tom Price and Port Hedland in 2009.

Gestures of the Landscape has been exhibited at: The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 19 August–18 October, 2009; 24HR Art in Darwin, 26 March–1 May, 2010; and the Queensland Centre for Photography, 26 February–27 March, 2011.

This project was supported by the Australian Council for the Arts.