Over a two-month period in 2017, Elaine Clocherty developed Acknowledgement, a site-specific work that incorporated The Farm’s winter creek and the history of the Indigenous Wardandi people’s 'first contact'. The work was formed by clearing an area of grass in the creek bed, shaping the underlying clay and soil into mounds, and adding contrasting bands of colour lined with crushed clay from other locations on the property.
Vivienne Brockman, a Wardandi Elder, explains that, "as spirits pass over, they move through the water and out to the west." Clocherty’s ephemeral work lies on an east-west axis in the waterway, one of the source tributaries of the Ellen Brook, and is constantly changing with the local ecosystem. From a dry creek bed to a small body of water filled with the winter rainfall, local seeds germinate and blossom within the work, reminding the viewer that nothing remains the same.
Clocherty exhibited Acknowledgement during the Margaret River Open Studios in 2017, alongside photographic prints of previous works and short films, including the newly completed companion film by the same name, a collaborative work with video artist Uta Summer.
The piece includes audio of a Celtic song sung by Lucy Ridesdale, intended to be played when visiting or reminiscing upon the artwork. Acknowledgement is an offering from my Irish ancestors to the ancestors of the Wardandi.
Elaine Clocherty is a site-specific environmental artist who works with the landscape. She uses both locally sourced natural materials, as well as the characteristics of the site, to directly inform her work.