Robyn Veneer Sweeney

  • Robyn Veneer Sweeney, ‘Containment Lines’, Sculpture Forest. Photo Grant Hardwick
  • Robyn Veneer Sweeney, ‘Containment Lines’, Sculpture Forest. Photo Grant Hardwick

Robyn Veneer Sweeney, NSW

‘Containment Lines’, Sculpture Forest

Location: Pilot Hill Arboretum, Bago State Forest

Artist Statement: The title ‘Containment Lines’ makes a reference to a strategy used by firefighters to contain fires to a specific area, although The Black Summer Fires were so enormous, it overwhelmed the many efforts to control it.

The miracle of the survival of Pilot Hill despite being ringed by fires.

This site-specific work references the process of Kintsugi – the Japanese philosophy of Golden Mending, where gold is applied to a resin glue to repair broken objects. This makes the broken object more precious, as is Pilot Hill: being an historic stand of trees somewhat singed but still standing, living, and breathing. A symbol of resilience.

In my thoughts when conceiving of this work, I also considered the damage done to our local communities and hope they gain healing through contemplating that one of our special places survived the inferno, becoming more precious to us all.

Above all, Containment Lines is an environmental statement asking us all to connect with and take care of nature, providing us and wild creatures with shelter, health, and peace. It is as simple as that.

Biography:  Eastern Riverina based artist, Robyn Veneer Sweeney has exhibited at Adelong Ephemera 2018 and Illawarra Artists For Peace at Wollongong Regional Gallery.

Focused on referencing the natural environment and climate change in her work, she approaches art as a way to experiment and draw new ideas, mediums and approaches. In creating site specific and ephemeral works, one of Sweeney’s sculptures is part of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail collection in Sugar Pines at Laurel Hill.

Acknowledging Arbour Festival  In January 2021 ‘Containment Lines’ was exhibited in the Arbour Festival sculpture exhibition at Pilot Hill Arboretum curated by Vanessa Keenan one year after the Dunns Road fire. We were so taken by this artwork that we commissioned it for the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, with the gold leaf to be re-applied every year for five years.

Stage one of the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail was jointly funded by the Australian and NSW Government’s Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.