Helen Hughes on Steaphan Paton

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationShort ReviewResearch


Whether applied to shields, to bodies as part of a ceremony, or to tree trunks, these designs have been passed down by Paton’s ancestors over thousands of years, directly binding him both to kin and Country (the holistic conception of place, including its physical, spiritual, and political dimensions). [...]a river might intersect with itself at an obtuse angle to form a zigzag, while the juncture of a mountain ridge with blank sky produces an inverse zigzag, thereby coaxing diamond shapes, similar to those on the shields, out of the natural features of the landscape. The specific kind of steel pipe used by Paton is intended to reference that used in offshore drilling currently under way in Gunaikurnai waters in the Gippsland Basin, a series of offshore platforms that deliver gas to the wider state of Victoria through a network of subterranean pipes. [...]to inscribe the diamond motif into this pipe is to implicate the extractive infrastructures that now incise and course through Country.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationArtforum International
PublisherArtforum International Magazine
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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