November 2009
Arc Biennial of Art
Fort Lytton
Brisbane, Queensland

Elizabeth Woods re-addressed the function of Fort Lytton as a Quarantine Station by researching its influence on Brisbane’s multicultural communities. She explored an expanded notion of contemporary art in public space that worked within the arena of personal and cultural communication in order to create, via participation, a sense of ownership and insight for its participants.

Her initial research established relationships and created a dialogue between museum volunteers and the ethnic communities and their families who have passed through the Quarantine station of Fort Lytton. Stories and recipes were made into cakes and recorded. The intention of this element of the project was to utilise the newly found relationships and to build upon them to create a new art audience. The artist then asked the community to nominate a suitable recipe and cook, who would invite the artist into their home to make the cake. The events were documented via video, which were then shown as two large, two-channel video pieces in the autoclave (Quarantine building) room/site. Images of wheat fields, sugar cane, cows, chickens, etc. – all elements that are quarantined and necessary resources to make cakes – were included in the video.

The artist also made cakes using the donated recipes which were displayed and then served by the artist (i.e. artist as service provider) over the weekend. Finally, a publication was made which was part cookbook and part catalogue.

The above is an edited version of promotional text written for the 2009 Arc Biennial of Art.

The cookbook/catalogue is available here.