Exhibited in From the Collection – Gertrude Regional Residencies: Chapter two, curated by Emily Cormack, La Trobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, 1 August – 20 September 2015.

For Splinter we repatriated a 23 million year old, partially fossilised Kauri log that was dug up from the Loy Yang open cut mine. This large log forms a conceptual and material web that connects the video work and documentation shown here, with a selection of works from the Latrobe Gallery Collection - each of which draws attention to various material conversions. Through presenting works such as Noel Counihan’s lithograph, The Shadow (1986), Stephen Harrison’s stoneware Vase (1987), and this untitled watercolour by an unknown artist, OSW seek to highlight the material and social effects of change.

In using this unique fossil as a starting point the artists’ create an assemblage of associations to focus upon the corresponding transformations of the Latrobe Valley landscape – with its gaping pits – and the ever-increasing size of Melbourne. Weaving together geological and material processes, energy consumption and shifting social relations this work highlights a complex metabolic interplay and the unavoidable extinguishment that this entails.

Splinter has been created as part of a long-term research project in collaboration with Museum Victoria titled into the field. This project has involved OSW investigating specimens from within the Museum Victoria geosciences collection through the framework of an expanded art practice, involving socially-engaged methodologies, materially-driven investigations, collaborative workshops, video-making, object production and writing. This project aims to tease out relationships between the immense periods of time embedded within geological specimens and the complex threads that connect biological, material and geological processes to human activity.

Splinter, 2015 included a partially fossilized Kauri log excavated from Loy Yang open cut mine, plywood display device containing: video of images sourced from the SECV archive, image featuring a sign mapping the loss of Yallourn and documentation of Victoria’s electricity supply, Noel Counihan, The Shadow, Lithograph, (1986), Stephen Harrison, Vase, Stoneware, (1987), Unknown artist, Untitled, Watercolour, (1850-1900).

Electricity supply of Victoria

1880 – 1990
1880 Victoria Electricity Supply Co. lights Eastern Markets and Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne.
1889 Electric tramway, Box Hill to Doncaster.
1891 Electric street lighting on Richmond and Prahran; general public supply in Nhill
1894 Street lighting City Melbourne from Spenser Street Power Station.
1894 Street lighting City of Geelong

1900 – 1920
1911 Royal Commission proposes one generating body for Melbourne and rail electrification.
1917 Brown Coal Advisory Committee proposes construction of Brown Coal fired Power Station in Latrobe Valley.
1918 Newport Railway Power Station in service 12,500 kw 25Hz for suburban rail system.
1919 Construction authorised for 50 MW Brown Coal fired Power Station at Yallourn and 132 kV line to Melbourne.

1920 – 1940
1921 State Electricity Commission created.
1923 44 kV line from Geelong to Warnambool in service 190 km.
1924 Yallourn Power Station 50 MW in service 132 kV steel-tower line to Melbourne in service 160 km.
1926 Rubicon hydro Power Station and 66 kV line to Melbourne in service 100km.
1930-34 Power companies in Melbourne and Geelong acquired by SECV.

1940 – 1950
1944-60 Kiewa Hydro electric Scheme 184 MW.
1955 200 kV transmission Kiewa to Melbourne.
1956 220 kV transmission Yallourn to Melbourne.
1958 Morewell brown coal briquette factory in service 60 MW cogeneration.
1959 330 kV transmission Dederang to Snowy linking NSW and Victoria power systems

1960 – 1980
1964-71 8x200 MW units in service at Hazelwood brown coal fired power station.
1970 500 kV transmission Hazelwood to Melbourne.
1973-75 2x 350 MW units in service Yallourn W Power Station.
1979 Jeeralang gas turbines in service 4x56.5 MW.
1979-80 Construction work in progress on 5 separate power station sites.

1980 – 2000
1980 Newport gas fired Power Station in service 1x500 MW.
1980 Jeeralang gas turbines in service 3x80 MV.
1981-82 Yallourn W Power Station in service 2x375 MW.
1984-87 Loy Yang A Power Station in service 4x500 MW.
1982 Vertically integrated industry split into generation, transmission and distribution functions.
1994-96 Loy Yang B Power Station in service 2x500 MW
1995-97 Generation split into 5 groups all of which have been sold.

2005 The first power interconnection to Tasmania is established.