Laurie Nilsen

Brisbane QLD
  • Once were fishermen (detail)  2014
    Mixed media installation and video projection
    Dimensions: 60 x 230 x 51 cm
    Courtesy of the artist and FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
    
Photography: Mick Richards
  • Once were fishermen (detail)  2014
    Mixed media installation and video projection
    Dimensions: 60 x 230 x 51 cm
    Courtesy of the artist and FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
    
Photography: Mick Richards
  • Once were fishermen (detail)  2014
    Mixed media installation and video projection
    Dimensions: 60 x 230 x 51 cm
    Courtesy of the artist and FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
    
Photography: Mick Richards

I moved away from my country in western Queensland, where it is all freshwater, to Brisbane when I was sixteen; but just the love of fishing and the water for most people like me… it didn’t take long to source out the water. It may be saltwater, but we are all mad keen fishermen – although I still don’t like swimming in the saltwater because it’s a bit foreign to me.

This trap is based on traditional fishing nets that you often see in the museums – the long tapered ones that are blocked off at one end. These traps that I make are all based on this concept of the funnels.

I’ve been using these traps as a vehicle to highlight different environmental and political issues over the past couple of years.

Being an avid fisherman, I see this rubbish floating in and out of the river all the time; and it’s become a real problem in some of the places out in the Pacific where hundreds of tons of plastic are floating around and breaking down, and forming a type of silt down on the bottom. And it’s killing a lot of the wildlife, these plastics – dolphins and turtles – so there is a lot this poisonous stuff floating around and may look harmless, but when you get hundreds and hundreds of tons, it does a lot of damage.

Laurie Nilsen

Laurie Nilsen, 2014
Photography: Mick Richards