David Nielsen - 2D Highly Commended

Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2D 2013 – Highly Commended


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[Image courtesy of the artist]

David Nielsen | Title: White Tracks | Medium: Digital Print on Photo Rag | Size: 53.3 x 80 cm | Date completed: 2012

Artist Statement

Robert Smithson once claimed that, “the best sites for ‘earth art’ are sites that have been disrupted by industry, reckless urbanization, or nature’s own devastation.”

David Nielsen’s White Tracks documents a readymade form of land art, tracing the remaining and vanishing landscape in one of Queensland’s oldest mining regions. Like a leaf of carbon paper etched with pen markings, the diggers’ tracks create a new form of landscape drawing, in which the land itself is inscribed upon.

Here, the physicality of the terrain could be described as both a carbon copy and photographic print. Nielsen freezes a moment in time, while the tonnes of excavated minerals represent the earth as a museum of ecological artefacts, or monuments of geological antiquity.

Smithson, Robert (1996), Flam, Jack D., ed., Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings, Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 165