emma buswell

Copyright 2007-2014
Built with Indexhibit

The Golden Eagle Nugget: Or a Symbol of Old to Inspire A New Hope is a work that seeks to question the paradoxical concerns of establishing an ecological stance out of a questionable history. Examining established spatial economies, relationships between place and iconography and local mythologies this work drags from the depths of recent history the events circling the discovery of the Golden Eagle Nugget.

Unearthed around the 17th of January 1931 in Larkinville, the Golden Eagle Nugget was a 36kg chunk of gold so aptly named for its vague visual inclination toward an eagle in flight. This year marked the second year of the Great Depression, a period of prolonged and globally felt financial difficulty. Australia was keenly feeling the effects of the depression; with many unable to find work due to a failing economy and a dwindling finish to the gold boom of the previous half-century. The Golden Eagle Nugget and its suggestion that the gold boom was in fact still very much alive came to signify a symbol of hope and uplifted the masses. In a very real sense it illuminated a population and resurrected a sense of assurance in both the land and its people. The nugget, discovered by 17 year old Jim Larcombe was later sold to the then Western Australian government whom smelted the rock down to release desperately needed emergency funds for the state.

The Golden Eagle Nugget: Or a Symbol of Old to Inspire A New Hope, perseveres to draw parallels between the dealings and circumstances circling the events of 1931, and the current predicament the WA State Government finds itself in in the wake of the seemingly fast approaching collapse of the mining boom. Monopolizing the iconography of the golden eagle nugget and using its historic connotations of hope and prosperity, the work designed for the exhibition Illuminations makes a literal signpost of the Blue Room and the surrounding Cultural Centre, a place dedicated to cutting edge theatre and cultural programming. This work suggests the prioritizing of art and culture as a viable future economic avenue for the state, and a shift away from a taxing and damaging culture of exploitative resources mining.