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John Lyall Borrowed Scenery

John Lyall Borrowed Scenery

4-27 August 2005
Preview:- Wednesday 3rd, 5.30-7.30 pm

In April this year John Lyall participated in 9 Dragonheads at Munui, Korea.

Munui is a little rural village situated near a beautiful lake by a hydro dam with strawberry fields on the outskirts. During the spring blossom season hundreds of tourists a day visit the area to see the blossom and visit the local temple. Lyall recalls, the blossom so heavy shopkeepers industriously sweep it way with their brooms.

John Lyall presented both performance and installation work at this years 9Dragonheads. He took with him to Korea soft toy birds and picket fence from Mt Eden.

He says, these fake fur birds with digital birdcalls were bought at Brisbane airport. One of those ubiquitous nature shops. They are made in China for a US company. This particular set of ‘Australian’ birds faithfully reproduce digital field recordings of their real relations. In performing with them in the Munui countryside I was followed down the path by local birds whistling and twittering in aggressive display to drive off the exotic intruders.

Most of the Australian birds represented in the set were everyday visitors to my mother’s backyard in Sydney in the 1950s. The dawn chorus is some what lessened in Western Sydney now but a ghost of this 1950s avian chorale performed digitally in peak blossom time in Munui, April 2005.

During his stay John was ‘Borrowing’ the famous views of Munui for a series of new works.

It became apparent installing the pickets, looking at that Munui scenery over the top of my Mt Eden fence, that if the audience were all standing looking at the view over my fence, then they were standing in my garden. So while this is an attempt to borrow/steal their scenery, (even if only for 1/260sec) it was in fact the installation for 1/250sec of my front yard in Munui.

The exhibition will include photography.

Image attached is I am borrowing your scenery. Picketing the vista. 35mm colour negative digitally scanned.

For more details on 9dragonheads visit


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