Title: Modern Midden, 2019 Medium: Selection of found objects / mixed media Size: 40cm x 40cm x 40cm
On the 12th of May 2019 I went for a walk with my partner and daughter. We walked down to Kogarah Bay near Kogarah Creek and explored the seawall built to rehabilitate the foreshore habitat. The tide was out and we could access the muddy area along the shoreline. The area was full of rubbish much older than myself and we realised it must have been an old rubbish dump slowly being revealed by the tides.
I thought about that modern midden for days, I wanted to know what was dumped there and if it could tell me anything about the area and its inhabitants. I went back and spent two days picking the site and then many more days cleaning and documenting what I had found. My ‘homemade’ archaeological dig documented the rubbish of local families from the 1960’s. My definitive dating evidence came in the form of a 1960 Australian halfpenny found buried under a Dairy Farmers glass milk bottle. From the 8kg of rubbished collected I could determine locals consumed pork and lamb, drank beer and milk. They conducted renovations at their properties and had replaced old fencing, electricity and bathrooms. The families consumed a variety of health and beauty products and most of their processed groceries were stored in metal or glass containers. There was little plastic consumed during this period especially when compared to our current waste production.