all projects Leonora: Kate McMillan

Project Title:
Locus Deperditus

Kate McMillan


Shire of Leonora

Residency Dates:
March-June 2011

Exhibition Dates:
30 June 2011 (Suite 4/Lot 34 Tower Street, Leonora)

Perth-based artist, Kate McMillan, developed Locus Deperditus during her residency in the northeastern Goldfields town of Leonora. In addition to a range of developmental community arts projects, including workshops at the Leonora Refugee Detention Centre, cultural projects with the local indigenous community and workshops at the Leonora Youth Centre, McMillan established a deep relationship with local historian, Jill Heather, during her time in Leonora. Heather holds an extraordinary understanding of the local landscape and in recent decades has worked to record the histories and whereabouts of lonely 19th century graves across three surrounding shires.

Long interested in the relationships between history and landscape, McMillan was inspired by Heather's knowledge and undertook a photographic series of the known lonely graves in the Shire of Leonora. These graves mark the remains of a colonial gold rush history based on chance, desperation and loss. Each grave reveals a little of the cultural and physical life of the deceased, and the great empty landscape that tempted these lost travellers.