Alison Coulston & Boyd


Field recordings from Burnt Flat Creek, Wollondilly River, Tasman Sea.

Duet for soprano saxophones, composed by Boyd and performed by Paul Cutlan and Sandy Evans.

“Coracles” - Cowhide, soldered copper water pipe and fittings, auto butyl (inner tube rubber)

“Hide nor Hair” - Cowhide, watercolour

“Hide Maps” - Cowskins, watercolour (Watercourses and coastlines from Burnt Flat Creek to the sea, sourced from topographic maps of the Central Mapping Authority of NSW

Artists Statement: "'Adrift' (2006) is a sound and sculpture installation, a response to ongoing drought in Australia and the struggle over water. Drifting across the floor is a ‘flotilla’ of small round boats, or coracles. Like those ancient river-craft, these coracles are clad with stretched and stitched animal skins, but their ribs are made from soldered copper water pipes.

The 'Adrift' soundscape signifies the movement of water through landscape and the human body. It is composed of field recordings of: water as it trickles from the creek near our home to the river that flows into Sydney’s major water supply dam and on to the sea; a saxophone duet; and borborygmi, the sound of human stomach rumbling. The sound is carried to speakers through a polypipe irrigation system, (a branching network that suggests the venal transportation of blood in our bodies), swirling in eddies around each coracle.

Almost anti-boat, without stern or bows or rudder, a coracle is utterly adrift. So we are adrift in the currents of ecological disaster, without direction. Yet the journey is mapped, in a tracery of watercolour on cowhides, a topography of the ephemeral creeks that flow from our place down to the cattle-trodden river and on to the sea. Small birds, depicted nestled or vanishing in the fur of cow pelts, speak of species and ecosystems vulnerable to the voracious desires of humankind."