SARAH McCONNELL



Artist / cartoonist / concerned citizen. Living and working on Wurundjeri Country.




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smcconnell25@gmail.com
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EXCLUSION ZONES, 2017


Aquatint and etching, concertina structure artist book. Hand-printed on Japon paper by Sophie Westerman.

21x15cm (closed)

Edition of 5 (+APs)

Exclusion Zones is a series of 3 images that focus on the current mismanagement of native forests in East Gippsland, Victoria, where activists have long been working to detect, locate and record the presence of threatened species including the Greater Glider and the critically endangered Orbost Spiny Crayfish in order to protect areas marked for logging by VicForests. Recent efforts have seen the temporary closure of several logging sites until further notice on the basis of environmental regulation breaches, while activists are also being prosecuted for entering exclusion zones illegally to record the presence of native wildlife whose limited remaining habitat is being destroyed. The final image is of a logged site on Mt Kuark - an area conservationists hope to protect indefinitely.

NO GREAT BARRIER, 2018


Aquatint and etching, concertina structure artist book. 21x15cm (closed), edition of 6.

In January 2018, I travelled on a flat-bottomed barge with about 40 other people to a remote island on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Nature was still in control here, and I was in awe. North West Island, at only one square kilometre, is home to 500,000 birds and is the nesting ground for 6 different species of turtle, one of which is endangered.

With no regulation, no briefing, and little information, the tourists thoughtlessly crushed coral as they walked over the reef they were exploring, and polluted the water with fishing boats. Tents got in the way of turtles coming up onto the beach to nest and torchlights scared them back into the water as people watched on with excitement. Turtle hatchlings ran into the forest confused by camp lights, and seagulls that had come to the island on fishing boats snatched the ones that headed for the ocean. The most ominous sign of our impact was the reef - bleached and badly damaged by ocean acidification and climate change. Seeing all of this I couldn't help but wonder what we were doing there.

'No Great Barrier' is a reflection on the unintended and often unavoidable impact of our presence through our sense of entitlement to all corners of the globe.

















LOST DIRECTIONS, 2019


Concertina structure artist book, hand-coloured sugarlift, aquatint, etching on Arches Velin 300gsm with monotype cover. 35 x 20cm, edition of 5

Lost Directions was inspired by the Djab Wurrung Protection Embassy and the incredible work they are doing connecting people to culture and protecting sacred land from the ongoing genocide of white Australia. Djab Wurrung is still at risk of eviction, 16 months after the blockade camps were first established. Thank you to Zellanach for giving permission to document my experience through the creation of these images. All profits from the sale of this book go to the Djab Wurrung Protection Embassy. Lost Directions was made on the stolen lands of the Wurundgeri people. Sovereignty has never been ceded.

Full description here.



BLACK WALLABY, 2019


11 monoprints on 250gsm Hahnemule paper, concertina structure artist book, 53x33cm (closed)

Victoria's native forests are rapidly approaching collapse as logging threatens the last remaining areas of intact, undamaged forest. 'Black Wallaby' is a quiet reflection on resistance in the last of these forests. This work shares a view of the landscapes I have experienced through sleepless nights spent scouting, hiding out, and setting up blockades on the edges of logging coupes to prevent the spread of destruction.


This book takes the perspective of the 'black wallabies', the activists who work tirelessly against the tide of the inevitable, running through the undergrowth in the dead of night, tying machines together, and climbing into the canopy as dawn breaks, occupying the area for as long as possible and drawing attention to an antiquated practice that has slipped under the radar for too long.


MISSING MEMORIES, 2019


Book of 15 multilayered monoprints on 250gsm Hahnemule paper, concertina structure.

THE VIEW FROM HERE, 2018

Sugarlift, aquatint, etching, 3 page fold-out artist book. 32.5 x 24.5cm (closed), edition of 7.


FLUX


Hand-bound book of monoprints, 2017

I’M NOT SURE WHERE WE’RE GOING BUT I KNOW WE’RE NOT THERE YET, 2018


Etching, aquatint, drypoint. Hand-bound book of 6 prints.

35 x 20cm

Edition of 3




THE COST OF LIVING, 2016

Lithograph artist book, concertina structure.
Hand-printed on 300gsm Somerset Satin paper by Jaime Powell.

I FLEW TO SYDNEY TO SELL BOOKS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, 2015


Monoprinted concertina structure artist book. Edition of 11.

AS IF THERE WERE NO TOMORROW, 2015


Concertina structure with monoprint image and monotype wrap cover. Unique state, edition of 26.

Victoria’s old growth native forests, one of the largest carbon stores on the planet.

We strip the landscape bare, with unashamedly short-term views. The future still takes a backseat to business – a worrying miscalculation of value.

Global temperatures push closer toward 2 degrees. Bushfires become larger and more frequent, speeding up the process.

We have viewed this land as a resource – taking, wasting, and using it all up ‘as if there were no tomorrow’, and if we continue this way, that might just end up being the case.


ALL FOR YOU FOR NOTHING, 2020


Series of 2 unique state artist books each with 6 multilayered monoprints

‘All For You For Nothing’ draws on feelings of helplessness, anxiety, effort and burnout experienced through the recent climate events of the 2019/20 summer months in Australia. This book was created after 6 months tirelessly programming and preparing the National Climate Emergency Summit, which was held in February 2020, while the forests burned and the cities filled with heavy smoke, the nation's capital was battered by freak hail, the rivers dried up and the red soil from the Mallee region blew across the land and blanketed Melbourne.

The title, ‘All For You For Nothing’, refers to the efforts of so many hardworking organisers, groups, activists and advocates who are dedicating so much of their time and energy to get emergency action on climate while the general population seems wilfully unconcerned or hands-off. These efforts are unrewarded and often selfless, coming from a place of love, anger, desperation and resolve. The alternate reading of the title points to our attitude towards the earth as though it were a bargain giveaway. It’s all for us, for nothing.

While the prints in this book are all abstract, I made them thinking of the unstoppable momentum of time, the changing land, atmospheric shifts, weather and pollution. They are images created out of exhaustion and a letting go of control. They are products of chance and mistakes and layers of corrections and changes. They are images of nothing in particular, and the state of the whole world.

UNTITLED, 2011


Digital prints in hand-bound book.





BOOK OF SMILES, 2011


50 smiles photographed over 30 minutes. Digital prints in hand-bound book.

BLOCKED, 2011


Book of torn notes taken by my hypnotherapist while helping me work through a persistent and paralysing creative block. End pages taken from an exercise on visualising the block.