Singing Up Spirit of the Land, March 28 – May 9 2021

Distinguished Ngugi elder and Quandamooka Traditional Owner Uncle Bob Anderson (Dr. Robert Anderson OAM) is the focus of art exhibition Singing Up Spirit of the Land. Contemporary digital and painted portrait work capture not just likeness of the elder, but spiritual meaning behind sand minings end on Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island in 2019, a result of native title determinations granted to the Quandamooka peoples in 2011. The integrity of these artworks are testament to an enduring relationship between Aboriginal elder Uncle Bob Anderson and artist Jo Fay Duncan who identifies as an ecological artist and second generation Scot, residing on Quandamooka Country. 

At 92, Uncle Bob is a living legend. His legacy concerns not only Native Title determinations over Quandamooka Country but also Aboriginal rights in the work place. These artworks are a tribute to him, an honouring of the ancestors and hope for a better world for our descendants. 

This exhibition encapsulate a body of work that articulates a remarkable window, to the complex and living culture of those of and living on  Quandamooka country; both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal at the time of minings end on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). It bespeaks of reconciliation in action in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relations and in our collective relationship to Country – be it the homelands of our ancestors or those of anothers.

Uncle Bob Anderson is seen here in interview with artist Jo Fay Duncan about the portrait Spirit Man Walking Country Once More 2019.

Magical Creatures

As an artist I work in many media from drawing and works on paper, to projection and sound scape. In contrast to the high tech of digital imaging recent works are assemblage sculptures simply made of drift wood and feathers all found on the wetlands and beaches of my island home.

Attached are a gathering of these supernatural beings, suspended infront of shadows almost more alive than they are. Snake Bird to me is almost a creational being, there is an elephant posing as a dragonfly and another is the scull of a unicorn wolf. Winged Three Legged Horse promises sublime journeys through the ether. All were in a group exhibition part of Canaipa Mudlines: Environmental Art at Redlands Art Gallery, Nandeebie in the Quandamooka Australia.

Canaipa Mudlines Residency 2019

Artists’ have worked in residence this past week at Turtle Swamp Wetlands, on Canaipa Island part of the 2019 Mudlines Residency. Studio gallery exhibition and poetry performance show-cased artworks and other musings generated through-out the year during onsite visits across the island to include locations at Rocky Point, Melomy’s wetland and littoral Shore south-east.

Arts + Environment/Culture + Country

  is a living archive of ecological art installations, residencies, festivals (2011-14)  and research from the island of Minjerriba (North Stradbroke Island), Quandamooka (Moreton Bay).

Lines in the Sand itself is a multi-year artful response to native title determinations on Minjerribah, North Stradbroke Island and subsequent plans to end sand-mining on the island.

Jo Fay Duncan

Artist Curator Collaborator




Guardian Cartoon on Toondah Deelopment

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To see the full cartoon visit…

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“How do 3D holographic projections work? How can light be projected on plain air?”

“The short answer is: it can’t. 3D holography as seen in movies like Star Wars, where you see a hologaphic image projected in the air is only science fiction. To this day there is no way to project a hologram in the air, although there are some tricks to make it look like a similar effect. One that is very recent is exciting a plasma with a laser, and since the air gets ionized you can even interact with the hologram (here you can read further: The Future of Holograms are 3D Plasma Displays You can Touch | Nerdist). Another technique is using translucid screens in a certain angle and projecting the “holograms” into the glass. This technique has been used in concerts and other shows involving special effects, like the time Tupac was “brought back to life”.

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But, the deceased hiphop artist Tupac appeared with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at Coachella Music Festival in 2012.And in interview published through the Wall Street Journal The News Hub discusses how. Apparently the technology was simply a projection onto an angled piece of glass, so the image can both been seen and seen through. In the 1870’s moral dramas were the heroin would ascend to heaven at the end of a show; Pepper’s Ghost.


From wiki…

Pepper’s ghost is an illusion technique used in the theatre, amusement parks, museums, television, and concerts. It is named after the English scientist John Henry Pepper (1821–1900) who popularized the effect in a demonstration in 1862.[1] Examples of the illusion are the Girl-to-Gorilla trick found in old carnival sideshows and the appearance of “Ghosts” at the Haunted Mansion’.” December 1, 2018

Islands of Innocence

Islands of Innocence was a media installation encompassing projection and audio in the old asylum ward replica at the North Stradbroke Island Museum on Minjerribah August 12, 2018.

The islands of Cassim, Lord Howe, Morovo Lagoon in the Solomons and Minjerribah were land and sea scapes chartered over a period of three months in late 2018 by curator and researcher, Jo Kaspari. The media itself references a rich research ecology undertaken over 24 months evident in this Small Islands Blog.

Islands of Innocence followed the 2017 Two Island Tribute installation which explored a development plan intending to build 3500 units over reclaimed land on Nandeebie’s (Cleveland) foreshore. In so doing the intertwined island ecologies of Cassim and Sandy would be dessemated.  The underwater geologies, ecological diversity and integrity of Cassim and Sandy Islands are such that they were included in Ramsar zoning of 113 314 hectares of Moreton Bay in 1974.

In the face of the ever-present threat of development, the art work in Islands of Innocence some 12 months later explores global-wide threats to islands and related habitats which include mining, over population and indeed development.

Notions of innocence, ancestry and aesthetics explored in this multi layered media installation are qualities which here stand in the face of these threats;  a poetic, an aesthetic disruptor to the bureaucratic monologue about an ‘economic transition strategy’ away from mining on Minjerriba and $444 million grants to save the Great Barrier Reef.

Since 1949 sand mining has been active on Minjerribah. Its impact on people and Country is spoken about in Oodgeroo Noonukul’s poem Time is Running Out. The poem was published in the 1970 publiciation My people: a Kath Walker collection.  This poem along with audio recording of Uncle Bob Anderson that speaks about mining’s end is included in this installation.

In 2011 the then state government made legislation to action Native Title in the region, extend national parks and put an end to mining on Minjerriba. After a change in government and subsequent High Court challenge mining the island is set to end in 2019.

The High Court of Australia ruled in 2017 to overturn legislation to prolong sand mining, as the extension of mining leases on the  island brought into question the rights of Native Title holders across the Country.

Similarly, to allow foreshore development of Toondah Harbour and Cassim Island on reclaimed land of the bay in an internationally recognised Ramsar site, contravenes precisely what Ramsar Convention was set up to achieve: the protection of these locations.

Threats to island habitats are largely born of human centric practices.

Mapping (and mining) the Bay has been a prolific undertaking by many and various individuals and entities in the last 70 years.

Embodied in the maps depicted in this installation, are the imagined underwater geologies from the Last Glaciel period, charting of Moreton Bay by sea farers, political zoning by governments and bird habitats – to name but a few. Included is a map of Native Title over MInjerribah which has created it’s own complex divisions in the community and a Jandal language map of Minjerriba.

The north wall projection references mapping, mining and development in the Bay. Development is depicted in the 3D rendering of the intended Toondah Harbour development.

Mining Downunder Sibelco QLD was a film generated by Visage Productions in 2012 at the time of controversial over turning of mine closure.   ‘Mining has stolen the foot prints of my ancestors’ is a theme often articulated in audio recordings with Uncle Bob over the past 24 months. In this installation he speaks of the significance of song and dance. And of walking Country to Aboriginal people and walking once again on the lands (currently still under mining lease) denied them.

The pristine waters of Morovo Lagoon in the Solomon Islands were depicted on the south wall; it’s corals untouched by ocean bleaching and marine inhabitants diverse and prolific as seen in footage by travel companion Dave Hannan of Ocean Ark Alliance, deep water cinematographer and sometimes island resident. Over laying this is original music composed by 16 year-old Leon D.N. – it’s mood one of wonder and journeying.

Lord Howe island is one of a few breeding sites for the sotty tern on the east coast of Australia. Their isolation and sheer volume leave their time immemorial routine unperturbed by human contact, . Children visiting this site in breeding season are pictured here harnessing something of the innocence and reverence essential if we are to preserve earth’s natural habitats.

The media installation explored the idea of innocence and innocence lost be that through; mining, development or human’s prolific presence in the terrain.

The projections themselves are not limited to a single small screen. Instead they overlay the human centric and pinned histories of the island on the white walls of the old asylum building’s interior. North and south wall projections contrasting very different depictions and also decimations of ‘innocence’.


Ecologies of Art

“Formed in 2017, the collective features five leading artists – Jan Baker Finch (movement), Renata Buziak (photo media), Erik Griswold (composer), Vicki Kelleher (poet) and Vanessa Tomlinson (musician). They have previouly presented work as part of Easter@Harrigans Lane (Granite Belt), Contexts Ephermeal Art Festival (Poland) and theLines in the Sand Festival (Minjerriba). Through these projects, Bloom Collective explore the potential of art to pay attention to place, expanding our ability to listen, see and engage”.

Quote taken from The Wrong Kind of Beauty exhibition statement dated September 5, 2018.

Another alegiance forged during Lines in The Sand Festival of 2014, was that between Renata Buziak (photomedia artist) and Carol Swarzman (writer) who conceived and curated Art in Soil in 2017.

“Let’s Get Dirty is an Art in Soil initiative by the Queensland Branch of Soil Science Australia informed by the arts industry. Both art and science are carried out as cultural acts valuing their environments and creativity, harnessing sense, and seeking to provide change via abstract models of our world. Let’s Get Dirty will follow numerous Artists’ journeys over a six month period creating a piece of art inspired by soil”.

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