‘And how happy a time it is –‘’ was a commission for ArtBOX. It is made using doodled scribbles and automatic drawing to mask out (and stencil in) elements to reveal a single absent character. When together, the 90 individual works form a potentially provocative text.
The text is taken from the writings of an early colonial illustrator Louisa Meredith. In her Notes and sketches of New South Wales from 1844, she details her voyage from the ‘Mother Country’ to the Colony of New South Wales in 1839.
“And how happy a time it is – the first few days on shore after such a voyage! Every action of life is an enjoyment.”
Meredith’s reflection on the ‘first few days’ after landing in Sydney after a four month journey bares a stark comparison to contemporary arrivals by sea at the time this work was conceived and produced.