Karen Ward - 'Geographia'

Wednesday 21 August - Sunday 15 September 2019

The Modernist Project has been, and is, what drives my work.

Seeking understanding and meaning by way of urban construction, specifically the skyscraper; the patriarchal vertical symbol of modernity, progress, capitalism and internationalism.

And yet. Another symbol goes unseen, as it is done underground. The great age of Industrialisation, exploration and colonialization began by digging, tunnelling, exploiting the earth as a symbol of western superiority and power.

Most recently my work had evolved around this dichotomy of “above and below”. I lived in Bendigo for many years and was constantly made aware of the underground ‘gold’ city of tunnels, of great vertical and horizontal depths and complexity.

Modernity brought us, subways, underground car parks and imagined underground cities.Though, the ancients already were underground with their catacombs, their military tunnels, their cave dwellings. The concept of ‘above and below’ is a different psychological mindset, to that of my ongoing obsession of understanding our urban landscape.

A fertile ground for new work?