Paul Arnold


In a physics perspective, motion is described as “the activity of an object as it changes position in relation to its surroundings, within a given time period.” From a mathematical perspective, motion is measured by calculating displacement, acceleration, velocity, time, and speed.  There are four scientific forms of motion: rotary motion (movement in a circle), oscillating motion (movement backward and forward), linear motion (movement in a straight line), and reciprocating motion (also movement in a straight line, but time and speed can vary).

This exhibition conceptually explores the four forms of motion with aerial images of floodplain landscapes that surround NT river systems.  

The term “rotary” refers to circular motion and has been part of civilization since the invention of the wheel.  Encircle depicts the flow of water around the central lower area of the floodplain after it feeds in from the main waterline.  Coalesce is the South Alligator system in Kakadu National Park. It shows a series of smaller circular actions converging to form one massive motion. There is no focus point just an overall presence of rotary motion.

Linear motion is self-explanatory: motion that moves in a straight line. Settling shows water moving along a creek line onto an alluvial plain where it settles. Here, the movement of the water is always forward.  Accumulate is a series of straight water drain lines flowing into a main system. Linked captures a straight drainage line joining higher country to the dispersion area on the floodplain.

Oscillating motion describes a motion that repeats itself after a period of time.  For example, the swinging pendulum of a clock or the action of a sprinkler. Ever watch a candle in the wind as it waves back and forth? How about imagining the oscillating solar flares on the surface of the sun? The creek line in Wavering stretches onto the floodplain and illustrates this motion. Meandering is a larger version of the river system as it winds it way across the floodplain.

The final form of motion–reciprocating–also describes back and forward motion, however at  varying speeds and durations. Outflow depicts this “in and out” of reciprocating motion as floodplain runoff water enters the surrounding seas. The steady flow of freshwater mixes with the tide and joins its rhythm. Similarly, Breaking alludes to the curl of a wave. Ocean waves build, break and run into the shoreline where they lose energy and run back out again. The final piece for this exhibition, Tidelines, showcases reciprocating motion: the tide rises and falls on the floodplain over the course of the day and the weeks.


Shop 6/27, The Mall
Darwin NT 0800