Liddell WORKS is a creative program marking the closure of the Liddell power station, and its long legacy. The core of the program is 15 artist “residencies” where artists respond to the power station with fresh individual expressions, culminating in an exhibition in mid 2024.
Fran Wachtel’s corrugated iron shed workspace appears as an extension of her creations and assemblages and are often emblematic of the bush and her surroundings. Fran is an established part of the Murrurundi arts community, and her work can be found throughout the Upper Hunter, often welcoming to visitors as a whimsical gateway to a town, or livening up gardens and homes across the country.
Fran’s use of recycled and repurposed iron, tin and steel sits comfortably within the Liddell WORKS project
In Fran’s words…….‘I was attracted to the project by the irony of making a work out of recycled tin for a POWER STATION that was going to be recycled.
Being selected for the Liddell Project has inspired me to do a radical clean up my studio/workshop/junk yard.
I now have various buckets and boxes of odd interesting bits and pieces that I may or may not use.
After my first visit to Liddell I knew what I would like to do but as I shuffle my interesting pieces I may also be drawn to some interesting distractions.’
Photo: Fran Wachtel, taken by Jonathon Burrows of Jonathon Burrows Photography
Fiona is a multi-disciplinary visual artist with a socially engaged practice. Her touring solo exhibition Carbon Tax was made from her home’s scorched remnants of 2019/20. ‘Carbon Tax spoke to both my personal loss and the impact of climate change on us all. Liddell WORKS is the right project, at exactly the right time. Works created during this residency will record this pivotal moment in our planet’s history as we collectively determine our future. I talk a lot about coal and the electricity generated from it and am incredibly inquisitive about what actually happens at a coal fired power plant and what it really looks like. I would also like to learn more about the people who work there and what the future holds for them.
We know that the coal fired power plant has provided the people of Australia with the electricity we need for generations. We also know that we urgently need to reduce the mining and burning of fossil fuels, including coal, to have any chance at a safe climate future. Liddell Works provides a timely opportunity to examine and memorialise the energy transition that is marked by the closure of this power plant in a local context.’
Photo: Fiona Lee, taken by Stuart Marlin