Netted Land, 2018, Jill Sampson

Netted Land

Netted Land
baler twine (haystring)
Dimensions variable (approx 16700 x 7400mm)

Netted Land
My family spent years working to make a living from a small farm in Queensland’s South Burnett. For many years we cut, dried, raked, baled, carted, stacked and sold lucerne hay.  This was part of my childhood and early adulthood.. 

Lucerne was grown on a small black soil creek flat and irrigated from underground water streams.  Apple gums ring around the boundary of this paddock and I often wonder what trees once grew across the flat.  For thousands of years the Kaiabara lived here, along the creek, living sustainably with this land.

Netted Land reminiscences my own childhood through the material use of this vintage haystring.  Knotted into a large net form it references the Kaiabara and the nets they may have made and used.  Netted Land also refers to post-colonial, unsustainable, industrialised agriculture imposed on this fragile land. 

While the vintage haystring of my childhood disintegrates over time to return to the soil, today’s synthetic haystring lasts forever.  Although we pick up every piece we see, we still find it in the nests of birds, marsupials and rodents. It can entangle or be ingested, causing serious damage to both wildlife and farm animals.  Our actions, like the actions of the past, become tangled and embedded in the landscape.

These photos of Netted Land show it installed with the (then) developing work The Disappearing, photos Jill Sampson