Coming into its orbit had meant drawing a different line, one, which involved a certain refusal, and a decision not to comply. But she still had really no idea what it was that she had come into contact with, what had changed her in this way. What it was, or where it had come from? Or why indeed, it had come her way?

But what exactly was she seeking evidence of? Some site of origin perhaps? Yet what could the profile of a rock or a glimmer in the dust tell her of how it had all begun, and more importantly why the need to look at beginnings? Why judge the efforts of these men – according to those men – back then?

And so here she was – finally – left cheek still hot in the setting sun, squinting to match the hulks of abandoned mining machinery, to the healing tears in the ground, to the lines of the urban grid stretching away to the horizon – Oxide, Chloride, Sulphide, Bromide – trying to find the exact spot where it had been born.

She was on a road, of a kind, a surface of hot dry rocks that took a sharp turn at the bend, in its rise away from one side of the town and towards the other. It was hard to be sure if it was here or there – how does one choose between one rock and another? Between a rock and a hard place.

Silver is a fictionella, published as part of the Lost Rocks series of 40 artists’ books, edited and designed by A Published Event (Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward) and available to buy here:

Lost Rocks (2017–21) is an ambitious, slow-publishing artwork – a library of forty books, four books published twice yearly for the next five years. Forty single traces, ten dynamic seams, or one spectacular forty-rock Lost Rocks Library. Brought to life by Australian artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward (A Published Event) and composed by forty contemporary artists from around the world, Lost Rocks is an accumulative event of mineralogical, metaphysical and metallurgical telling.’

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