Encroachment Foray, settlement, incursion
To occupy the inhospitable landscape in a time of isolation.
To make the land a home.
European settlement in Australia started in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet from England. From the moment they arrived these men and women started to explorer this unknown and strange land, the "new" inhabitants of Australia were desperate to know what lay beyond the mountains which rose about 50 kilometres inland from the coast and which formed a seemingly impenetrable barrier to exploration of the continent. There was a very practical reason for this need to know: their very survival seemed to depend on finding suitable land for grazing and cultivation. Beyond that, however, was the curiosity which has always driven men to discovery. (Source: Project Gutenberg Australia)
Five Miles from the Sea is a look at the incursion (Five miles from the Sea) of non-indigenous Australians and their resulting mark on the land. Whether it is the erosion of the land or the erosion of the quarter acre block, how are we shaping and living in the hinterland? Who lives five miles from the sea? What does it look like though the eyes of ten diverse artists, some from different parts of the globe, who have indeed made Australia their home?
In April 1770 Cook sailed onto the east coast of Australia. In a simple ceremony at Botany Bay, Cook named the coastline New South Wales. Since that day the new Australians proceeded to make the new land their home, sometimes with disastrous results. Not understanding the land they found it difficult to penetrate the dense bush and each mile of clearing took a great effort.
Each of the ten or so participating artist will visually interpret, in a medium of their choosing, a reference point that is five miles from the sea. Illuminating what is now a multicultural land, a society that is twenty-first century Australia. There will be a Google Earth image of the artists chosen area available for reference for the public to view.
Cook said of the native Aboriginals in his journal: ….from what I have said of the Natives of New Holland they may appear to some to be the most wretched People upon Earth; but in reality they are far more happier than we Europeans, being wholly unacquainted not only with the Superfluous, but with the necessary Conveniences so much sought after in Europe; they are happy in not knowing the use of them. They live in a Tranquillity which is not disturbed by the Inequality of Condition. The earth and Sea of their own accord furnishes them with all things necessary for Life. (Source: www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au )
All artists live and work in Melbourne but are free to choose any area of the coast of Australia. Four of the participating artists are themselves immigrants and bring a different perspective to the four Australians born and bred here.