Selected Works > In the dust...

In the dust, was it Hermes?
Variable, 1/1 Edition

Hermes is the Greek God of transitions and boundaries, known for freely moving between mortal and divine worlds, and acting as a mediator, trickster and interpreter between these two worlds (Faivre, 1995)*.

Hermes is also the name of 22-foot wooden boat that no longer sits in the A-Shed storage yards in Victoria Quay Fremantle, following her deaccessioning and removal from the WA Museum’s Maritime collection. The boat was donated to the museum so that its shape and construction methods could be documented, yet once this work was complete the Museum deemed the boat “not relevant to the core museum collection” (WAM, 2007)*. Not unlike Hermes the God who continually darts between the mortal and divine worlds, Hermes the boat has traversed a similar boundary, between the museum and the world of ordinary things.

I have never seen Hermes for myself in real-life. I have never been in her presence, but instead, have gained a sense of her through secondary traces, in the form of hand drawn plans, a low-res photograph attached to an email, advertising text and the dust circulating within the A-Shed itself. My experience is distant, removed and formed through these secondary traces.

* Faivre, Antoine. 1995. The Eternal Hermes: From Greek God to Alchemical Magus. Red Wheel/Weiser.
*WA Museum (WAM). 2007. The West Australian Museum: Annual Report 2006 - 07.

Many thanks to Bill Leonard and Sally May for their assistance with access and their openness to discuss Hermes' fate.