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The diviner’s dérive

posted on 18.03.2021, 00:00 authored by Simon KilbaneSimon Kilbane
The diviner’s dérive



Aquaphillia - Love of Water. Exhibition (2021 : Geelong, Victoria)


Vidler Art Parlour


Geelong, Victoria

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.

Start date


End date




Research statement

The diviner’s dérive offers a very personal cartographic exploration of my relationship with water and wetlands, over time and place. This collage compresses geographical fragments, text, photographic images and a variety of colours, shapes and textures as a map of lived spatial experience. Close inspection will reveal a myriad of different componentry that illustrate connections between self and water in a variety of forms including the ocean, harbours, rivers, lakes and swamps as well as depictions of several key water-dependent flora and fauna. Shafts of colour indicate the dérive itself – a continuous polygon that drifts in and out of view of differing width and orientation, suggesting further cartographic meaning, hierarchy and narrative, all the while underlaid by an aqueous narrative of rivers, lakes, wetlands and further imagery drawn from this watery territory. Cosgrove (1999) suggests that mapping reveals desire and while not attempting to be didactic, the narrative of water that underlies this work hints at its criticality and importance to my life: like a water diviner I am drawn to and have an affinity to inhabit that space between dry land and the water, the interstitial and ever-changing, dynamic of water and specifically, of wetlands. This is a work that draws upon previous notable cartographic explorers, including the early psycho-geographic works of Guy Débord and the Situationists (Débord, 1957), the inspirational and quasi-scientific recordings of John Wolseley (Grishin & Wolseley, 1998) and above all his inspirational practice of dwelling in place, and lastly Bunschoten and Chora (1998) whose attempts to coalesce complex layers of information and ideas as texture to mapping are one I reflect upon often. Each of these offer an array of speculations about the role of the map and the translation of information from the real three (and four) dimensional world to the two dimensional canvas or page. Compression of space, time and place is only possib

Publication classification

JO1 Original Creative Works – Visual Art Work


NTRO Minor

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