Amanda Stuart - TAS

Amanda Stuart is a Canberra based visual artist, writer, curator and art educator. Her sculptural works produce objects that sit in the environment to invite psychic re-imaginings of old, unhealed wounds between humans and unwanted animals. Embedded in a materiality of the Australian regional landscape and its fauna, her works refer to the social, cultural, ethical and political difficulties surrounding contested estranged human animal/relations within contested landscapes. Stuart’s practice embraces drawing, installation, object making and in-situ photographic documentation.

Stuart has a PhD in Visual Arts (Sculpture) and a Bachelor of Science (Land Management) – the latter of which quietly informs her art practice and concerns regarding relations with country. She currently lectures in the Environment Studio and Foundation workshops at the ANUSOA, and co-coordinates The Balawan Elective, with co-founders Amelia Zaraftis and Heike Qualitz.

Artist Statement

This battered, sculptural boat has seen better days and suggests an imagined metaphorical journey over time. Despite all of its flaws however, it remains optimistic - empowered by the animal instincts that poetically sustain its underbelly.  

Water and snakes are powerful elemental and symbolic forces in the quiet lexicon of the Australian landscape. Animal connectivity is crucial to my personal and public creative enquiry - I am drawn to the less lovedother animal. The snake is a complex and potent animal signifier of the cyclic forces of creativity and like water, signifies renewal.  

Year of the water snake (craft for a dry lake) is a sculptural representation of a land locked boat that draws on its animal instincts, pausing to re-imagine its next journey. The dilemma of immobility evokes contemplation of the forces that have shaped this inertia. It signals to the wisdoms inherent in trusting our animal instincts for safe-passage.