Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax is a Sydney-born, Canberra-based artist and writer. She graduated from the National Art School in Sydney in 2002, and completed First Class Honours at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University, in 2004. She has worked as Curator, Australian Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Australia since 2008, and is a current PhD candidate at the ANU School of Art and Design, in the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop. Her research focuses on John Berger’s suggestion of a diagrammatic articulation of relationships formed between self and place. 


In his 1971 essay ‘Field’, writer and artist John Berger suggests the diagram as an alternative approach when personal encounters with landscape exceed the conscious lexicon of language. Situated between writing and drawing, diagrams offer a way to investigate patterns and processes within the complex physical world. ‘Skywriting’ applies Berger’s theory to a case study site in Canberra, using the conventions of the routing diagram to chart seasonal flight paths of birds and insects in a small suburban park. As a linear form of flow diagram, this schematic approach accumulates subjective, sensory experience into a spatial arrangement of data that reveals ecological and biographical relationships formed between place and inhabitants.