Ann Holt, Terra Ambulare (Earth Walk), 2013, acrylic paint on
wood panels, 2.4 x 22.8 meters.
This large scale, site specific public artwork Terra
Ambulare (Earth Walk) was painted on a series of
adjoining, floating wood panels, forming a
twenty-three-meter panorama that is installed along
Cascade Road in South Hobart, Tasmania. The theme of this work is
the changing history of place and a reminder that we are all
just passing through.
History unfolds over a background scene that encapsulates the
geographical features of the area including the
monolithic presence of Mount Wellington and the labyrinth of
meandering waterways that make up the surrounding Derwent
River and D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
Numerous silhoutted figures in the foreground denote the areas
history such as the discovery of a cascading rivulet that led to
the establishment of Australia's first brewery and female convicts
in the local workhouse. A folklore tale of the infamous Flash
mob refers to an incident in colonial times when a group of
inmates at South Hobart's notorious Female Factory prison
(1828-1856) lifted their skirts and flashed their bare behinds at a
visting Governor's wife, Lady Jane Franklin, in protest of
their inhumane living conditions.
Charles Darwin's explored South Hobart's mountainous terrain
1836 where he noted the areas vegetation was 'very luxuriant'. In
1967 catastrophic bushfires engulfed this region and the charcoaled
silhouettes of tress in the painting concede to its devastation.
Scenes of contemporary life, rejuvenation, native birds and
reptiles are included in the painting as well as a ghostly figure
of Tasmania's long-lost extinct Thylacine that may have once roamed
these hills in times past.
Terra Ambulare (Earth Walk) was
commissioned by South Hobart Sustainable Living and was
jointly funded by Hobart City Council and The
Tasmanian Community Development Fund. It was officially
launched by The Honourable Lord Mayor of Hobart, Alderman Damon
Thomas on 10th February 2013.