Genevieve Elliott

Silver marks and tangled memories over a map 

Image credit: Genevieve Elliott, 37 Owen, 2022 

Scar Marks by Genevieve Elliott

Exhibition dates: 27 September 2023 to 25 March 2024

Scar Marks highlights the artist Genevieve Elliott’s interest in boundaries and places through serviceable objects or ‘survey marks’ to create a cartographical reading of the Carlton area. Through the interposing of intangible memories onto these serviceable objects, the marks are used as points of departure to explore ideas surrounding boundaries, connection, discourse of place and ownership.

Survey marks are small silver monochrome objects found sublated into footpaths. Used by surveyors to demarcate property boundaries, as object markers and to measure distances (in time and space), they are often used as a communicational marker, highlighted with fluorescent spray paints in areas of construction.

Informed by the line from Rimbaud’s Illuminations (1886), “At any price and in all weathers, even in metaphysical voyages”, Elliott has photographed each marker in each of these images during a different season, alluding to the survey marks’ perpetual unassuming presence. Each survey mark is located outside a location where intimate and meaningful interactions occurred with friends and loved ones.

The words boundary, survey, navigate and poem were sampled from exhibition texts of previous artists and used to write a short four-word poem.

Cartography is the art and science of graphically representing a geographical area on a flat surface such as a map. The process also includes superimposing political, cultural, and other non-geographical divisions onto these charts. Elliott uses mark making as a reference to the early lithography maps created by hand, to overlay memory onto the original documentation. Maps are mass-produced and so the images are printed originally as risographs, a printing method used to create large bodies of easily distributed media.

About the artist

Genevieve Elliott is an artist and fashion designer. Her practice encompasses printed media, film, writing, installation, and textiles. Elliott researches the interface of art and fashion to examine the semiotic relationship between narrative and garments, class, and society. Elliott holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture and Spatial Practice) from the Victorian College of the Arts and a Bachelor of Fashion Design from RMIT.

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