Saturday, 15 September 2012

Projections at the Riverside… present plays host to the past

No Boundaries Artist Daniel Kojta has produced a series of projections on the architecture of the iconic Victoria Bridge over the Nepean River. Daniel has utilized the surrounding landscape features, including elements of the natural foreshore such as the Hawkesbury sandstone, the trees and bushes, and historic buildings remaining today.

Historic Postcard of Victoria Bridge 1907 projected onto Victoria Bridge 2012

These features are loaded with the social memory of local history; from the industrial mining of sandstone and river sand which supplied the foundations of many of Sydney’s buildings that remain today. The river has always been a social icon as a location of family bbq’s, children swimming, and water sports; as evident in the historic black and white images of families joining together by the river in 19 century costumes before a background of steam powered holiday boats.
Inspired by my own memories of ‘Tarzan swings’ and the iconic ‘mud baths’, that provided hours of endless adventure every summer; these projections overlay historic images over the architecture of the river as it is today. Showing the Nepean River as the same sight for recreation as it was a hundred years ago. The same smiles appear in the black and white photos as they do in current images of families by the river on any Sunday.

The projected imagery also shows the history of the Nepean Rowing club and the many regatta’s that were once a major tourist attraction for the river as a draw card to the area of western Sydney, which still continues today.

River swimming club 1913 projected onto river shed 2012

The projection set up involved location visits to map out the individual sights for projection and ascertain the most feasible; mainly to gain access from my wheelchair. This was a challenge given the geography of the foreshore and moving the equipment: projector, generator, DVD player, and various tripods and cables. Gaining stability in prime locations with the most favorable aesthetics proved challenging, but ultimately rewarding.
The projection of these historic images would not have been possible without the kind assistance of the Joyce Cole trust together with the images of the Mud Baths from the Jan Ford Family. The overlaying of these historic images within the same locations in current times offers the public an experience of a live evolving history, live in the projections.
Special thanks must be extended to the Joyce Cole collection, for the historic images of post cards and black and white imagery. Also, thanks to Jan Ford and family for the 1970s photos of the mud baths. The Nepean Rowing Club has also provided assistance during the projection of these images near their club head quarters with much appreciation from the No Boundaries event.

Picnic on the Nepean RIver late 1800’s projected onto Victoria Bridge architecture 2012.

Technical: Mobile Projector Unit
Data Projector, tripod.
5D SLR Video Camera, tripod.
DVD Video Player with edited DVD of images to project
Power supply via Generator + cables

Nepean River rapids 1905 Projected onto Victoria Bridge 2012

The final works will be featured as projections on the Joan Sutherland Building as part of the No Boundaries Project next Friday and Saturday. Come to see the Nepean’s social and industrial history come alive.

The Nepean River has a vast history as the focal point of industrial development and social recreation uniting a multicultural community. From mining to fishing, the Nepean has been the jewel of the Penrith Valley for over a hundred years.

Victoria Bridge Past to present 1907 – 2012 Projection over bridge Daniel Kojta 2012

The No Boundaries Project has reinvigorated a long held passion I have held for the river and surrounding environment. My life is melded within the social history of the river and I look forward to continuing to work with the river as a medium to future installation and sculptural artworks. The series below will inform the future body of works.

Nepean RIver Dusk ‘Deep Reflections and Tidal Negotiations’ Daniel Kojta, No Boundaries Project 2012. HD Video still, Daniel Kojta.

In this latest series inspired by content researched on the Nepean River, I will combine the time frames that map the topography of our collective histories, so many of which have punctuated my childhood. Nepean River dusk ‘Deep Reflections and Tidal Negotiations’ HD Video still Daniel Kojta 2012.

Victoria Bridge ‘Traversing reflections of tide’  2012. HD Video Still Daniel Kojta


Victoria Bridge ‘Architectural Projections’ – 1934


Ramp Nepean River HD Video still 2012 Daniel Kojta