A fountain for water when you find it
23 January - 6 February 2022
As I arrived in Mparntwe/Alice Springs, fat drops of rain began to pour down. The Aquatic Centre’s car park flooded. The clay pans replenished their milky pools. Flocks of birds squeaked and squawked.
Over the next week I visited the clay pans daily, watching as the water soaked back below the surface, leaving behind juicy, tempered chocolate swirls and cracks. As the water retreated, only a few ponds and burnout cars remained. Liquid sand glinted in the midday sun. Rummaging through the rubble, rusted and ash covered, I noticed the warped glass become rivers.
I connected the rivers and returned to Ilparpa with a solar pump to create a fountain in the last of the ponds. As the water moved through the creases, I reflected on this vast, gooey place. A sacred Arrente site, a place to do doughies and walk your dog. Water is transient here, and can’t be controlled for long. It leaves its mark in the landscape until the next time it falls. The swimming pools, sewage wetlands and sprinklered lawns hold space until then.
This project was created during Watch This Space’s September 2021 Travelling Artist in Residence. Supported by Arts Tasmania through the Arts Bridge Grant.