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Keith Maxwell
Keith Maxwell

Rich Pickings, 2019

This spinning portal installation echoes stories of vast riches clawed from the greater Blue Mountains and surrounding townships. Coal mining was the backbone industry of this vast region for many years, with disused shafts still dotted throughout the region. Copper, silver and gold have also been found by tenacious prospectors willing to try their luck.

The Katoomba coal tramway played a vital role within this mining history, carrying coal and shale from the top of the steep industrial railway to the Great Western Railway at Katoomba. As the legend goes, in 1945 Harry Hammon was filling his ute up with loose coal next to the disused mine below when he came up with the idea to turn it into a tourist attraction. It was then reimagined as the world-renowned Scenic Railway.

If you are walking in this forest on a misty morning, or on dusk, you may see the faint glint of metal, suspended in floating circular portals. Rich Pickings represents the precious metals drawn from this earth and the dreams of the miners who toiled so hard for these riches. Dream big, go for gold.

Embellished (hand painted) sticks, wired to steel frames.