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Bethany Thornber: Parks and Wreck

Artworks of a range of mediums by different artists. In the foreground are 6 white plinths with ceramics with feathers added to them.

Bethany Thornber
No free parking(detail), 2019
Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of the artist

Parks and Wreck was the second solo exhibition for Chiltern-based Wiradjuri artist Bethany Thornber.

In a series of paintings, sculpture and installation, Thornber explored the landscape around her home, focusing on Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park.

The Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park exists on country that has for millennia been connected to the Dhudhuroa, Yaithmathang, Bangarang, Yorta Yorta and Waveroo peoples of what is now known as North East Victoria.

A key place within the National Park and a vital consideration for Thornber is the sacred site Yeddonba. Named in the Dhudhuroa language for the native black cyprus pine, Yeddonba is a place that has held ceremony and gatherings for thousands of years.

The rock formation that protects the site has been formed over aeons and within this site exists two small paintings. One of a goanna and the other of a thylacine, an animal that has been extinct on the continent for two thousand years.

Communicating through colour and a unique symbolic visual language, Thornber queried the process of selecting environmental areas for protection, the idea of sacredness and boundaries, common ownership and shared responsibility.