Eucalyptusdom | Powerhouse | Yasmin Smith, 2021 - 2022 | Powerhouse Museum, Sydney | curated by Nina Earl, Emily McDaniel, and Sarah Rees, in collaboration with Agatha Gothe-Snape as embedded artist at the Powerhouse

Artist statement:

This site-derived installation is produced exclusively from materials collected from the museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ former eucalypt research plantation on Bidjigal land at Castle Hill. the work is conceived in two phases, with the second phase to be installed in Spring. Inorganic elements of a tree derived from the soil and water that nourish it remain in its cellular fibre after death. These glazes reflect trace metals retained by the plantation leaf-fall and one burnt eucalypt. A shifting spectrum of colour grows like an apparition of the gum tree. A manifestation of the tree’s own memory – its physical, biological and chemical essence. Humans also retain trace elements from the universe. We are all literally made of stardust.


visit Eucalyptusdom website

Eucalyptusdom reckons with our cultural history and ever-changing relationship with the gum tree, presenting over 400 objects from the Powerhouse Collection alongside 17 newly commissioned works by creative practitioners working across the fields of design, architecture, film, applied arts and performance. Taking its title from a 1930s text by Edward F Swain, one of Australia’s earliest conservationists, the exhibition will also reveal the Powerhouse Museum’s unique and longstanding relationship with the eucalypt.

Drawing on the Museum’s comprehensive design and applied arts collection, ceramics, furniture and a sledge made of spotted gum that went with Sir Douglas Mawson to Antarctica, Eucalyptusdom will also explore the eucalypt’s emergence as a symbol of Australian identity in post-federation Australia.

Commissioned practitioners presenting new work include Nicole Barakat and the Rohingya Women’s Development Organisation, Dean Cross, Julie Gough, First Nations Fashion and Design, Ashley Hay, Vera Hong, Jonathan Jones and Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr AM, Nicholas Mangan, Anna May Kirk, Luna Mrozik-Gawler, Jazz Money, Lucy Simpson, Yasmin Smith, Wukun Wanambi, Sera Waters, Damien Wright and Bonhula Yunupingu and Justine Youssef.