the feral green gemstone and other stories
Lhotse Collins
4 May → 26 June 2024

Lhotse Collins, the feral green gemstone and other stories, 2024.

Showing in the West Space Window, the feral green gemstone and other stories looks to spend time with the contaminated and entangled histories, stories and ecologies of the Birrung (Yarra) river. Thinking of the ongoing colonial impacts which alter worlds, the works look to find ways to unlearn, resist and build different futures.

The material was gathered from the banks of the Birrung just above Dights Falls where Lhotse swims. They write,

"Salt seeps up Wurundjeri rivers past wool washers and tallow works, pesticides change ancient ecologies – fish mutate. Plastic gemstones live long into our futures, ancient sediment holding them in place. Ghosts linger at the banks and we are scared to swim. A human becomes an eel and migrates to the sea before the falls get rebuilt. Swimming here fills my body with ancient waters yet feral runs through me. There is a placelessness and horrific embeddedness as our actions splinter futures.
Mud, when held, can transport you to a gelatinous river bank coloured by flour, blood and the washing of fleece – It can take you further too – to a river winding out through wetlands before the sea rose and long before the boats came.
This building is part of these stories; bricks baked with clay quarried from stolen banks. My great grandchild tells me about revolutions that did come and I read books backwards in order to reach there. Quarries are filled with some other dirt and this bending river was straightened. Someone told me in a dream that they are working on reverting this, but some processes can never truly be undone."

Read Concrete Womb: Re-imagining Urban Water by Lily-rose Pouget.

Lhotse Collins is an artist, writer and organiser in Naarm/Melbourne. Lhotse works across sculptural installation, weaving, writing and performance, engaging with myth, folklore and historical pasts to uncover lost futures. Their practice is a process for unlearning and re-worlding. For Lhotse, place, materials and matter are considered mystic collaborators and speak with more-than-humans an action of resistance.