Letting Leak

Drain, scent, wood, mist

Casula Powerhouse once steamed, burning coal to power the present. As a bi-product of generating electricity, this steam billowed from it’s chimney and leaked into the surrounding atmosphere of Casula. Here the deep past evaporated into the present filled with the potential to climatically alter the future.

The coal burnt at Casula Powerhouse was formed over 298 million years ago during the Permian Period. Much of the vegetal matter that this coal is composed of originated from an event ominously named The Great Dying, the largest mass climate extinction event the earth has ever seen to date. How ironic it seems to burn coal composed during this event, as we in the present look toward a climatically uncertain future.

Letting Leak brings steam back to Casula Powerhouse, letting these histories leak from the buildings architecture. The steam is scented with aromas from three key time periods linked to the burning of this coal - the Permian period; fern, moss, wet earth and pine, the present; eucalyptus, wattle, wild fennel, tea tree, native violet, gymea lily, clay, indigofera, and the future; weeds, smoke, heat, blackberry and dry grass.

Letting Leak hybridises time, melding moments from Casula Powerhouse’s timeline to acknowledge the non-linear nature of time and underscore how we can look to the past to better the future from our present.

Images courtesy of Casula Powerhouse Art Centre. Photography by Chantel Bann

I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land I work on and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.