Publication Details

Olubas, B. and Simoes da Silva, A. J. "Philosophy, Canonicity, Reading." JASAL 12 .3 (2012): 1-3.


The cover image for this issue of JASAL is a wall sculpture by Brisbane-based artist Donna Marcus, From Alice Springs to Weipa (1999), an installation comprising five colour-blocked grids made from discarded anodized aluminium kitchenware that has been painstakingly collected and reassembled. Each grid is named for a regional Australian city—Alice Springs, Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Normanton and Weipa—and the individual works are linked together in the work by their place in the colour spectrum, shading from red through orange, yellow and green to blue. The installation suggests a journey across Australia’s remote northern region, from the heart of the Northern Territory, through a series of mining hubs, each denoted by a proper noun, to remote north Queensland, near the Gulf of Carpentaria. Marcus’s work draws on the tenacious codings of cartography in our accounts of “Australia”, and sets these alongside other kinds of coding—for instance practices of nomenclature and collecting, the aesthetics of the colour spectrum, the persistence or the opposition of domestic and primary industries and their relation to historically changing concepts such as landscape —to suggest something of their arbitrariness, as well as their surprising beauty.