Self-Portrait With Jarrah And Steel by Jennifer Cochrane


Medium: Wood and steel with wax finish
Size: 490 x 210 x 125
Gallery: Art Collective WA

My artwork focusses on the South Western Australian species Eucalyptus Marginata (jarrah). I have carved a salvaged jarrah railway sleeper and then bent steel around the carved form. The processes involved in making the work are laid bare – a delicate balance of heating the steel, to bend around the wooden form and controlling the resultant fire created by the red-hot metal coming into contact with the wood. It is a dramatic process of alternating fire and water.

The burning becomes an unmistakable reference to the importance of fire in our natural landscape while the linear nature of the steel acknowledges the colonial narrative of claiming jarrah as a product of infrastructure and economy – literally supporting colonial intrusion around the world with the development of rail networks.

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