Copyright 2020

Prohibited Area 2010, synthetic polymer on board, wooden poles, bolts, 240 cm x 122 cm x 7 cm



Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada is the official title of State Highway 375, an ordinary strip of desert road that runs north east of Las Vegas and ends at a small ghost town called Warm Springs. It is well known in UFO circles because of the very high number of strange sightings seen along its route. These unusual sightings are said to be connected to the nearby top secret military research establishment at Groom Lake, otherwise known as ‘Area 51’. 13,000 kilometers away, the Stuart Highway runs 315 km past the old British nuclear test sites at Maralinga, then sweeps on south past the Woomera Prohibited Area and the old rocket launch facilities at Lake Hart.

Travelling along these two highways the old signage is often the only clue to the extraordinary activities taking place out of sight. They mark the borders of the extreme types of scientific activity taking place there. These are places we are prohibited from visiting, typographic markers to 60 years of secret missile, aeronautical and space research.

Recreating these signs removes them from their purely practical function and gives them a new meaning. This meaning teeters between their written content,
with all its historical associations, and the supposed dangers of the desert ‘badlands’ the signs inhabit. They function as paintings about these inhospitable landscapes.
Although far removed from their origins, they chart the history of the areas they served and the aspirations and fears of the people that erected them.
The signs are marked, scratched and stained by their time spent upon the land.