Dump (with a view of some trees and wind over water)

Penelope Cain 

Space Two
25 July - 11 August2018

Opening night Tuesday 24 July 2018, 5-8PM

Dump is a pejorative term for a place used to dispose of waste. It is also the low-value central disk of the ‘holey dollar’, the first local official currency of colonial Australia, devised by Lachlan Macquarie.  

This exploration takes into consideration both of these meanings in an object-led enquiry.  

In the face of insufficient British currency in the colony, in 1812 Lachlan Macquarie had holes punched in a consignment of Spanish silver dollars, creating two pieces - the outer holey dollar and the inner dump - thus doubling the number of coins. This singularly innovative act of official currency mutilation was subsequently recognised by the Macquarie Bank, who adopted the holey dollar as its logo.  

Dump traces at a molecular level the silver of the holey dollar, through a linked series of anthropogenic landscapes, from Spanish colonial silver mines to Broken Hill and on to the Antarctic.  

Penelope Cain is a Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist with a science background. Landscape, in its widest terms, is central to her practice. She completed a MFA from SCA (2016). She has been awarded a Power Institute Residency, Cite des Artes, Paris, and was a finalist in the Sulman Prize and the Glenfiddich Contemporary Art Prize. She has exhibited in Australia, Seoul, Shanghai and London. 

Dump Room Sheet (opens in new window)

Image: Penelope Cain, 'View across the hill (biomapping with bees)', 2018. HD Video (still). Courtesy of the artist 

Photos: Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer

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