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third day of a five day muster



Rosemary Laing


1959 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    type C photograph
    110.0 x 206.6 cm image; 124.0 x 220.6 cm sheet; 126.5 x 223.7 x 6.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. verso sheet, pencil "Rosemary Laing ... 2003". Signed and dated l.l. verso frame, black ink "Rosemary Laing ... 2003"

    Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program in memory of Henry E Boote 2015
    Contemporary galleries
    Accession number
    © Rosemary Laing

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Rosemary Laing

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Rosemary Laing’s artistic practice deals with time, transformation, and connection to place. Her work often acts as an intermediary between grand historical narratives and their legacy. Critically re-evaluating our relationship to land through the themes of past and present ownership, Laing’s photographs offer revisionary narratives.

    Her 2003 series one dozen unnatural disasters in the Australian landscape, photographed around Balgo in the north-east of Western Australia – land belonging to the Wirrimanu Aboriginal community – directly speaks to these concerns. The conscious choice of location is crucial to the resolution of these works, as the site’s specific history as a Catholic Mission Station from 1933–75 provides an historical context for the exploration of time, transformation, narrative and legacy. Laing reconceives these histories within a contemporary framework.

    The intersection between past and present is played out in Laing’s third day of a five day muster. The aerial ‘bird’s eye’ view functions as a paradoxical tool of both objective detachment and complete immersion in place. An introduced grazing species, the herded cattle appear as an ambiguous presence in the landscape. The livestock is an allegorical reference to the impact of imposed ownership and colonisation. third day of a five day muster is the companion image to one dozen unnatural disasters in the Australian landscape #2, which depicts a burning car stranded in an expanse of dry desert. This diptych establishes a critical dialogue that charts the effect of colonisation and habitation on the natural environment.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • From Here, for Now, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Nov 2022–12 Feb 2023

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Rosemary Laing

See all 30 works