Sally Simpson’s work reflects her fascination with the way values and meaning assigned to land change over time, according to point of view, culture and situation. She uses unexpected methods to transform natural and man-made materials found at particular sites, creating sculptures that evoke artefacts and specimens and drawings that reflect the fragility of the environment. The purpose of these objects is to record the interaction between humans and the land at a particular point in history, as if for a future museum.
Sally Simpson’s artworks are responses to sites undergoing change. For Venerated Remains, she collected materials at Lake Mokoan, Victoria, which is a man-made lake in the process of being converted by local council into Winton Wet- lands. The materials employed in her sculptures, including discarded irrigation pipe, lace, mud and fish bones, reflect the fragility of this environment in flux. The intimate scale and finely applied gold leaf enhance their association with unearthed treasures. Her drawings of mummified fish found at the lake suggest the provisional nature of survival in a changing environment.
Simpson’s process draws on the tradition of humans making sense of the natural world through making artefacts and drawings with local materials.