A drift of timbers patterned by woodworms and decay. The structured prow and hull seem to fall apart and dissolve into the turbulence of wooden waves, entangled with lifesavers or truck tubes, and there incongruously a laptop and electronic sound system lie amongst the wreckage. Electrical wiring is taut and neatly stitched through this chaos of timbers to a series of audio speakers like portholes or crowsnests. We hear a maritime soundtrack, composed from submarine and industrial sounds recorded at Cockatoo Island, the former prison and shipyard in Sydney Harbour; refuse fluttering against the submerged microphone; maritime engines; the wind clattering machine-shop gates. With echoes of Viking ship burial and “The Raft of the Medusa”, the work reflects the imagery of destruction we witness daily in the media. In the slow disaster we are now enacting in this Age of the Anthropocene, this ark “Salvage” lies somewhere between a shipwreck and a life raft.

“Salvage” 15 m L x 1.6 m W x 1020 H Salvaged timbers, original soundtrack, stitched electrical wiring, speakers and sound system, truck butyl inner tubes.

“Salvage” arose from a mentorship and rich conversation at Articulate project space in Sydney, part of the Cross Artform project where Alison Clouston and Boyd mentored the emerging artists Alexandra Spence and Kathryn Ryan, who also collaborated to create new work.

Salvage was further developed for Cementa13 at Kandos in NSW.

Cementa13 was supported by the NSW government through Arts NSW.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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