Vicki Reynolds
4 Saint James St.
Willunga 5172 South Australia
Telephone: 0410 660854

Paper:  “Water: The Australian Experience”

The availability of potable water is an issue in many countries today. In Australia the issue is ongoing and serious. This paper will discuss the history and impact of the Anglo European settler / colonist in Australia where the indigenous population, its culture and way of life were virtually ignored. The continent of Australia was described as terra nullius. This will be investigated from the point of view of prints made firstly in England and then in Australia.

The effect of the perception of terra nullius combined with the imposition of Anglo/European farming techniques on to a landscape with totally different geology, and climate from that from which the farmers knew was the beginning of a society whose environmental problems are becoming critically evident and in need radical solutions. The main focus of my paper is water use in Australia, the driest populated continent in the world. Main points include Australia and the effect of “Terra Nullius” include; Culture transposition – Great Britain to Australia; Australia in the global water situation; and Australian Printmakers working in the area of environmental issues, including the “Gigalitre” project. It was Mark Twain who said “Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.”

“Gigalitre” is an exhibition which culminated from a 12 month dialogue by three Australian artists, from three states and locales immediately affected by the Murray Darling Basin, the Australian continent’s major river system.  Forty percent of Australia’s agricultural produce is grown in the Murray Darling, up to ninety percent (depending on annual rainfall) of Adelaide’s water comes directly from the Murray Darling Basin. An enormous percentage of the states industrial income (the Iron triangle) relies on Murray River water. All three artists share the concern that unless some action is taken soon the decline of the river systems in Australia, especially the Murray Darling will have an extreme impact on all of Australia.

VICKI REYNOLDS worked for 18 years as a professional photographer before completing a degree in Visual Art at Southern Cross University, she then achieved 1st class Honors and a Master of Fine Art at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and is currently working towards completing her PhD. She has had solo exhibitions since 1989 in Melbourne and Adelaide and has been selected for exhibitions in New York, France and Poland and throughout Australia. In New South Wales Vicki worked, as an Australia Council Artist in Residence and several years later was a recipient of the Arthur Boyd, Bundanon artist in residence program. Reynolds work has been published in Imprint Magazine, and work is held in several public galleries and private collections in Australia and USA, France and Great Britain. Reynolds currently lecturers in printmaking at the University of South Australia, and Adelaide Centre for the Arts, and is a committee member of the Print Council of Australia. Her work encompasses many printmaking techniques including etching, screen print, lithography, digital, and are often layered into the one image. Much of her work is shown in installation form, she also makes editions, artist books and paper. Her studio is equipped with a large etching press, lithography press and stones, book presses, paper making and screen-printing equipment and is available for access to other artists.

Gigalitre 2 “Piped” 9 A3 Digital images, etching, screen print, lithograph, natural ochre pigment. Artist Vicki -Reynolds