Two Island Tribute, 2017


Cassim and Sandy Islands have sands that travel east to west. Both are tiny and vulnerable due to their proximity to potential shoreline developments.

The unique ecologies of each island sustain a myriad of organisms above and below water and are eco systems critical to Quandamooka’s (Moreton Bay’s) interconnected habitats.

The photo, film and audio recordings in this exhibition elucidate the environmental, economic, aesthetic and cultural value of these islands and include audio recordings of Uncle Bob Anderson. Central to the exhibition is its curatorial philosophy, which articulates a contemporary ecological art that is discursive in nature and communicates local environmental imperatives.



The images above are of Cassim Island at dawn as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old whose feet were buried deep in mud so rich in microbes only a waterbird would know how to truly love it. The new Toondah Harbour revised redevelopment plans would see this intertidal zone under concrete. These images show the mainland’s bunya pines, the lights of Toondah Harbour and its ferries, waking birds in flight, and a gathering of perennial feathered inhabitants – spoonbill and heron. The bay’s many little peaks of muddy islands in the still water look to the dawning sun over Minjerriba, the broken shell sand, mangrove soldiers standing tall, and the mature mangroves and channel between the two land masses of Cassim Island.

Troy Robbins a long time resident and seaman in audio recording dated June 9, 2017 states …

“The channel that runs between Cassim Island and Sandy Island is critical because it feeds all the nutrient and food source down in the Cox Bank green zone. And the reason that that Cox Bank green zone was anointed was because it is known as a spawning ground … it is critical that nothing disturbs the natural flow of the Sandy Island Cassim channel, because without that nutrient it will comprise the micro bio diversity of the Cox Bank green zone and jeopardise the spawning of six or seven species of fish…

The symbiotic relationship between the mangroves, the sea grass meadows, the coral reefs, the spawning grounds it will just collapse and all of those species will be displaced…This Bay has struggled to deal with the developmental impacts over the last four decades, and with the scope of this twenty year dredging project”…(for the proposed Toondah redevelopment)… “will be the death knell of the Moreton Bay Marine Park as we know it”.

Cultural and aesthetic value of these two islands are elucidated through the Two Island Tribute exhibition and online. The poetic, spiritual and archaeological value of these are communicated through the methods and artefacts of Two Island Tribute narrative by Jo Duncan.