This project references origins, cultural identity, and transference, based on an exploration of my Celtic European ancestry. It is designed as a contemplation of my colonist-settler heritage as an approach to reconciliation, with a view that it may engage others of similar Australian heritage to contemplate their own situation.

Through an exploration of materiality, and beginning with the construction of a simulated section of cave wall, I have produced a series of multi-disciplinary artworks in relief sculpture, involving the use of paper, papier-mâché, acrylic ink, fabric, natural and metallic yarns, crystalline and opalescent beads, wire, wood, and leather. The artworks represent an advancing development, not only in their increasing sophistication of construction and design, and their ability to be transported, but also in their materiality and progression towards a symbolic visual language.

What began as research into my own origins of cultural identity has wider relevance to the contemporary social and political climate in Australia. Particularly within the ongoing experience of a pandemic and the collective effects on socio-economic structures, I feel it is important as a nation to review our origins as a basis for determining the best pathway forward.  Coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic is a movement towards reconciliation between First Nations peoples of Australia, and those who are here as a result of colonisation. A period of upheaval and change provides an opportunity for egalitarian shifts within society, and herein lies a moment for reflection and adjustment of perspective.


Sharon Lesley, Ley Lines & Shadowlands: Cave Beast on Wattle Daub [detail], 2022, mixed media.
Sharon Lesley, Cave Lines & Touchstones: Mosaic [detail], 2022, mixed media.
Sharon Lesley, Ley Lines & Shadowlands: Codex [detail], 2022, mixed media.


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Sharon Lesley