Photo Credit: Daniel Wilkins and Lyn Nixon

Whilst visiting Mandurah in the early 1980’s Lyn Nixon spent an evening with friends fishing from the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge (Old Bridge) and in spite of limited fishing experience, it culminated with catching the largest fish amongst the regular fishers.  Naturally, the recollection of this night, and the size of the fish, differs slightly each time it is told.

Inspired by the significant community discussion and divided opinions regarding the removal and replacement of the Old Mandurah Bridge in 2017, the work ‘Connection’ investigates the archives and collective community memories associated with the previous bridge. The installation, comprising of a traditional slide show and remnants of the fishing platform from the Old Bridge, seeks to question how memory, recollections and archives interact to create a version of history. This work presents existing archives of newspaper articles, images and records juxtaposed with personal stories and memories.  ‘Connection’ seeks to visually interrogate how people individually select and curate memories to form a personal historical narrative.

In early 2018 the Mandurah City Council provided the opportunity for local residents to receive a ‘souvenir size’ piece of the Old Bridge. ‘Fragments’ is a visual archive tracing the destination of these timber segments.  The work invites the viewer to consider how the collection, display and use objects connects us with memory. Researchers investigating memory refer to this as ‘extended’ cognition, where an object can act as a scaffold and builds pathways to memories.

Photo Credit: Ross De Hoog

Lyn Nixon is a local artist working primarily with photography, printmaking and installation.  Nixon’s practice explores impermanence and the impact of change on the human condition, particularly in times of uncertainty.  Nixon has exhibited in selected group shows in Western Australia and her work has also been selected in international biannual shows in Korea, San Francisco and Hong Kong.