Wreath

For the end of coal,

chambered beneath the old Coal Loader on Sydney Harbour.

Coal as the ghosts of trees,

winding sheets, stitched planks & blankets.

Sounds of the city’s hollow-dwelling bats and a nightbird,

crickets, dingoes on the urban fringe.

 

“Wreath” intimates the end of the age of coal. It leans on the tomb-like walls of a chamber at the site where ships once unloaded coal to power the growing city of Sydney (now the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability). Evoking the ghosts of forests of the Carboniferous epoch, which formed the world’s coal 260 to 290 million years ago, it is made from tree-casts – whitened strangler vines, bonelike yet fleshed with rich textiles like winding sheets or blanketing shrouds. The soundtrack is composed from recordings of the microbats that still inhabit the city’s hollows, crickets, creaking trees, a tawny frogmouth performed on contrabass clarinet, and the songs of dingoes that still persist on the periphery of urban development.

works