Norton Fredericks: Contaminated

5 April

May 11, 2024

Outer Space

‘Contaminated’ is an exploration between materials and processes responding to sites that are highly contaminated with the environmental toxins: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAFs), otherwise known as ‘Forever Chemicals’.

Norton began by collecting water, soil, and plant samples from contaminated sites using the Australian Map of PFAS as a guide across Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland to investigate how these chemicals interact with their materials, including fabrics, bronze, and paper.

This work is the intersection between science and art examining the impact of these pervasive chemicals on our waterways, land and body systems, this work will explore the chemical reactions that are created by site-specific variables. Through chemistry and drawing parallels between contaminated river systems and the human body, this work examines the complexity of human health related to environmental issues.

Norton has used a mixture of ancient, historical and contemporary techniques including botanical dyeing, basketry, cyanotype and bronze metal clays to create this body of work.

 

Image: Norton Fredericks, ‘Cobaki Lake’, paper, 2023. Cyanotype photograph of Cobaki Lake, Tweed Heads, developed in PFAS contaminated water and toned using tannins extracted from native plants.

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