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Wednesday, 04 May 2016


BEARINGS artist, Laura Williams, completed her first competitive ocean swim in 2014 and found herself repeatedly swimming in the wrong direction. When on land, the ocean and coastline is a constant navigational tool: it is where the sea breeze comes from, where the sun heads each day and the counterpoint to the vast desert stretching east. In deep water, navigation requires a different suite of tools – horizon checking, sky reading and searching for landmarks.

Shortly after Williams completed this swim, a team of researchers mapped the enormous underwater canyon off the Perth coast. The discovery of creatures previously unsighted in the area as well as the epic underwater formations highlighted to her how so much of this environment remains a mystery. This mystery is also reflected in our maps: blank blue space, often only differentiated by the occasional gruesome mythical sea creature.

From this research, Williams has developed a series of watercolours and drawings that document her findings. This includes a number of watercolour ‘maps’ that reflect a particular aspect of her research, such as specific swimming courses, the creatures and items that she has discovered while swimming off the Western Australian coast; the locations of guiding lights and; the ambiguous meeting point of the Southern and Indian oceans. Other works explore elements such as light levels, depth and height, built structures and natural navigational tools.

The works in the exhibition are watercolours on paper and pencil drawings on paper. The artist aims for people to be inspired to think about our coastline and oceanic environment in different ways and look a little closer at our relationship with it.

Event details

BEARINGS exhibition runs from Friday, 20 May until Friday, 3 June 2016 at Spectrum Project Space (Front Gallery), Mount Lawley Campus, Edith Cowan University.

Opening event

Date: Thursday, 19 May 2016
Time: 6.00pm - 8.00
Venue: Spectrum Project Space, ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 3, Room 3.191

Artist Talk

Date: Saturday, 28 May 2016
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: Spectrum Project Space, ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 3, Room 3.191

Open hours

Tuesday to Friday 10.00am - 5.00pm
Saturdays 12.00pm - 5.00pm


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