Home Terra inFirma Alex Byrne | Terra inFirma

Alex Byrne | Terra inFirma

by beth sorensen


Alex Byrne
Australian of English and Irish descent. Born Darlinghurst, NSW.
Live and works in Blacktown.

Terra inFirma provided me with opportunities to reflect on 250 years of colonisation and settler history in this country, as a witness, participant and non-First Nations Australian, born here and growing up in western Sydney.

Taking a personal approach, I’ve drawn from my memories, their inspirations, aspirations, perceptions and awareness. It follows my understanding and way of being in the world, developing from childhood through adulthood, with increasing knowledge of the colonial impact on Indigenous custodians of this country, and thinking locally, about Dharug land and its people.

These drawings are about place and the physical and psychological spaces I inhabit. These places span geography, cultures and time. They evoke stories that are conflicted, hurtful and damaging alongside others that are also inspired, hopeful and connected.

I acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded here, and this is only the beginning of my learning with you.

Alex Byrne is a practicing artist and senior technical officer in the Faculty of Art & Design at UNSW Sydney, Australia. Her interdisciplinary approach to studio practice has concentrated predominantly on sculpture and drawing but also includes installation, painting, photography and print. Alex’s work searches for ways to articulate experiential and often ineffable aspects of phenomena in the relationship between the natural and human world. In recent years her attention has focused on aspects of climate change and how we perceive the relationship of our day-to-day life with the broader philosophies, scientific discoveries and environments of this age.

Alex has combined her intimate knowledge of artmaking with over 20 years experience working in technical roles within arts education and community arts organisations. She asks, “How do you resource the adult imagination?” Engaging in making environments, for her, provides a way to support both experienced and developing adult imaginations that are so crucial for solving 21st Century problems.

 “My work explores the constituent parts of a complex whole and the relationships between those parts whether literal, physical, symbolic and/or metaphorical. It is intrinsically an extension of my relationship with those things.”