Created with support of the Ian Potter Museum as a part of the Meigunyah Student Art Award, PALIMPSEST is a New Materialist engagement with colonial artefacts contained in the Miegunyah Collection at the Ian Potter Museum of Art . It was presented at the Museum in November 2018.


The work examines storied and agentic matter, specifically in relation to the tensions between colonial Australian ideologies, and the non-human landscape on which they were inscribed.

Utilising the specimens in the Eucalypt Cabinet (Figure 1), crafted by Grimwade in 1919, Ecologies of Silence aims to view each of them as ‘a site of narrativity, a storied matter, a corporeal palimpsest in which stories are inscribed’[1] – responding to the form of the specimens through ekphrastic prose, interwoven with critical text. The outcome would be a creative exploration of the ways this agency might be articulated to demonstrate an ‘embodied narrative’, as opposed to their presentation by Grimwade as ‘disembodied’ scientific specimens.

You can read an extended report of this inquiry here.

PALIMPSEST Features images from Russel Grimwades text The Anthography of Eucalypts and sound art by Jake Steele.

[1]Opperman S, Iovino S, Material Ecocriticism, Indiana University Press, 2014, p 451

Video Art, 5 mins

Artists Luna Mrozik Gawler, Jake Steele

Ian Potter Museum of Art