Ley Lines is a research and exhibition project exploring connections and tracing thread lines between Scotland and Australia. The project seeks to unearth hidden narratives of people and places from within institutional collections, employing a celestial metaphor to reimagine historical objects relating to civic identity, map making and territory charting.
Commissioned by Panel (Glasgow) and created by Kate Scardifield, Ley Lines was developed through a period of collection and archival research during a residency in U.K. supported by Creative Scotland, and through a Research Fellowship with the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) and Sydney Observatory.
The project uncovered significant artefacts including union banners and maritime signal flags held across six distinct museum collections, and a number of astronomical instruments brought to Australia from Scotland in the 19th Century by the astronomer and former Governor of NSW, Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860). A body of creative work was developed spanning textiles, video and sculpture, including a series of digital prints on velvet and silk produced in collaboration with the School of Textiles and Design, Heriot Watt University.
The outcomes of the project include a touring exhibition presented at four venues in the U.K. The exhibition includes a changing selection of historic material loaned specifically for each venue, allowing new and distinct local narratives to come to light in context with the commissioned work. Soft Chorus, a work developed as part of the commission, comprises of eight unique textiles dyed with native Australian plant material from Parramatta Park, Western Sydney. The work acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country, and pays respect to Elders past, present and future.