Underground BMCC

Following the success of the initial ‘pilot’ at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre selected the group to expand on the curatorial premise for a major exhibition in the city art gallery.


25 November 2023 – 28 January 2024

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery

‘As above so below’

‘Into the Underland we have long placed that which we fear and wish to lose, and that which we love and wish to save’.

 MacFarlane, R.,2019, Underland, A Deep Time Journey, pg. 8 UK

Underground – a word of cultural metaphors, the avant garde, political resistance, counter-culture, abhorrence and fear of the unknown, the fiery world of Hades, the source of the minerals that make our technological culture possibly but also the resting place of many of the oldest human cultural artifacts.

In this exhibition four Blue Mountains artists take the viewer through a labyrinth of works inspired by geological energies that reach from the furthest and earliest parts of the cosmos to end up under our feet and in the art works themselves and the technology we use to make and view them.

The geo-mythology of the Underworld has been part of human culture over millennia. We have deferred to ‘what lies beneath’, a place of mystery, time and space held below the Earth’s crust. Archaeology uncovers both catastrophe and prosperity while it takes us back even further into deep geologic time. It is a symptom of our overwhelming impact that we ourselves now constitute a geologic era, our imprint will be in future sedimentary layers defined as the Anthropocene, an unofficial and recently defined geological period in which humankind is declared to be the determining geological factor1.

As our renewable technologies and media rely on the critical minerals extracted through mining, Australia is once again the depository of riches for a new era. ‘Critical minerals’ are the agents of change as essential components for the alternative energy transition.

They also happen to be essential in making the technologies that drive media often used in contemporary art. In his book A Geology of Media, Jussi Parikka2 adopts an archaeological approach, examining the relationship between media and the geophysical environment by tracing the materiality of media to their natural geological source tracking the metals and minerals that enable the transmission of information and power future technologies. These traces can be seen in all the work in this exhibition.

It is fire that interconnects many of the works, the great furnaces of the stars that created the elements that ended up as the clay and soils and rocks beneath our feet, and the fire of the kilns that turned the clays into ceramic artworks. The interactions between these artworks and the group of artists in itself reflects the collaborative nature of human culture that has over millenia learned to use the crudest materials to develop the most sophisticated of artifacts, the electronics which are slowly moving towards their own forms of thought and intelligence. One more circle is added to this great spiral of elemental development, “to the interconnectedness and continuity that spans the vastness of space and the infinitesimal scale of microcosms”.

Excerpt from the Underground catalogue essay – Miriam Williamson, Curator

1. The Geological Turn: Narratives of the Anthropocene, in Hamilton C., Gemenne F. & Bonnevil C., dir The Anthropocene and the Global Environmental Crisis: Rethinking Modernity in a new Epoch, London, Routledge, 2015, 15-31

2. Parikka, J., 2015, A Geology of Media, Electronic Mediations, pg. 14, vol 6. London


Vicky Browne, Peachey & Mosig and Simon Reece

All images

Silversalt 2024

Exhibition gallery

Vicky Browne, Resonance+Stones 2023, Black Japanese stoneware electronics, dimensions
Vicky Browne, Crafted Artefacts (detail) 2023, Polymer clay with metallic lustre, dimensions variable
Vicky Browne, Detail of Drum Variations 2023, Metal ceramic vinyl electronics and gold lustre
Vicky Browne, The Subterranean and the Cosmos (detail) 2023, Glass, ceramic, wood,
    paper, & polymer clay electronics, dimensions variable
Simon Reece & Vicky Browne, The Motherboard 2023, Glazed earthenware electronics, dimensions variable. Acknowledgement: Simon Cooper for assistance with electronics
Simon Reece, neutron waste – universal wealth creation 2023, Still from 4K video 1 min (Video Director - Philip Sage)
Simon Reece, 21:9 - Ultrawide platinum (detail) 2023, ceramic, glaze, platinum lustre and acrylic paint
Simon Reece, Neutron Waste 2023, Ceramic, glaze and platinum lustre
Simon Reece, Blue Crag 2022, ceramic, slip and underglaze colour Blood Crag 2021, ceramic and glaze Orange Crag 2022, ceramic, slip and underglaze colour
Peachey & Mosig, Unearthed Request (detail) 2023, fabric, mineral, bead, thread.  Acknowledgement:  Simon Reece for assistance in producing this work
Peachey & Mosig, Guide 2023, Rock, fabric, thread
Peachey & Mosig, A sudden katabasis / An accidental witness  2023,  Still from Video projection, Sound Paul Mosig & Tilman Robinson, Performance Locust Jones
Peachey & Mosig, Oracle 2023, Photomedia