I wanted to depict an Australian landscape that reflects its multi-cultural nature and its ongoing relationship with Japan. Toyota Dreaming celebrates the positives that come from cultural exchange and mutual respect. Scourers are usually used to clean and l use them as a symbol of taking something out of context and of being able to galvanize the transformative power inherent to the creative process
Julie-Ann worked as a commercial artist for many years before returning to studies in 1997, completing a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT. Between then and 2003 she was the proprietor and curator of foyer espresso bar/installation gallery in Hobart and has since been an English/Art teacher in Thailand, Korea and New York City. She has produced various works including murals, signs, and sound installations. She currently lives in Melbourne and works from her Richmond-based studio.
My brother was a jackaroo in outback N.S.W. for a period after he left school. He had use of a Toyota Landcruiser, to cover the vast distances of the property on which he worked, for checking on animals and fences. It was an essential vehicle for traveling over the often harsh terrain of the sheep and cattle station. My picture relates to an experience my brother relayed to me of the time he found the skull and remains of a feral goat that had met its end after becoming entangled in wire mesh. Under the duress of the extreme desert heat, the goat had perished before it could be rescued.
I grew up in Yarram, South East Gippsland, with my two sisters and one brother. My Dad has always driven Toyota Landcruisers to be best equipped to explore the more rugged terrains of the Aussie landscape. Three consecutive years, when I was a child still in primary school, Mum and Dad took the whole family on what seemed like epic voyages to remote areas of Queensland, outback South Australia, NSW, and central Australia. These adventures are forever etched in my mind and were some of the most joyful experiences of my childhood. Tents and camping gear were stowed upon a pack rack Dad had put onto his Landcruiser, kids and dogs traveled in the back, and Mum and Dad in the front. Off we’d go on our road trip, usually in convoy with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in their own vehicle.
Getting bogged in bull-dust, open fires, seeing who could spot kangaroos or emus first, playing with paddymelons and rocks in dry riverbeds are vivid images to me. On these camping trips, I liked to draw with sticks in the dry earth or put faces on the paddymelons. I have been drawing and painting since I was very young and my continued art practice remains an important vehicle of expression for my ideas and stories today.
Down in the valleys, or up in the hills goes my trusty steed She complains not, even in slushy mud or scorching heat We have been as one for many years, and done everything You can think of together – heavy loads and always carrying Wood, work gear – you name it – even cow feed. Then there is the family who Loves her as much as me For camping and picnics in the hills, or driving on the sand by the sea On outback trips there was no better servant to keep us safe and secure On the road, solid and dependable and ever ready for the next adventure.
There was always more to do and see Picking blackberries was made easy and fun by your solid body We backed you up and slid into the prickly delicious booty With purple mouths and sticky fingers the kids had their fill of berries Then home we went to make some jam, all feeling scratched but merry Family fun made so much better by your uncomplaining duty Now the family has all gone and today it’s only you and me You are scratched and old, and so am I, but still we are a team We go to my favorite places and work when we find the time You are my friend and workmate, though we’re both past our prime We may be over the hill these days but we can still do a climb People say, get rid of her! She’s feral and past her used by date But I just laugh and pat your tray and say “no way mate”
Another one would look much better but wouldn’t be the same tough old Beauty, as this old girl. She’s a local legend of much refute I just won’t part with my dear old Toyota ute.
This photo shows Toyota’s long-standing connection to Australian sporting culture, something that is broadened by the existence of Toyota Community Spirit Gallery, a project that has helped encourage my art practice. Similarly, horse racing helped to forge a national identity from colonial times to now. The colorful, sweaty, desperate, and exhilarating spectacle became a focus of hundreds of thousands of individuals who collectively comprise Australia’s third-largest domestic industry. It was a chance to dress up and admire things. It’s an industry that, from the start, has justifiably been embroiled in controversy. Fortunes have been won and lost and won and lost – and then there is the perennial grinding poverty and excessive whipping. Not to mention steeplechasers who are invariably failed flat racers. Then again it’s the chance for the small man to win big. I can remember our first winner in the country driving back home through a snowstorm of cash. It was Fair Village by a streak. Murray Bridge Racing Club is to commence works for water recycling in 2011.