The major work for my PhD at Southern cross University started in 2000. I worked with a group of environmental scientists led by professor David McConchie, and arts practitioner John Smith from SCU, on a gold mine at Drake in northern NSW. With the assistance of staff from environmental remediation company Virotec and the University I planted 600 wattle and bottlebrush trees. The planting formed a 500 metre Serpent which for a time held a coin and then a vegetable garden in its mouth. The scientists and Virotec were testing the use of Bauxsol™ to treat acid soil and water on the mine. The sculpture is built on exposed tailings at the edge of the main tailings dam. Mining causes a plethora of metals to be released into the environment and this causes low pH levels. Prior to mixing Bauxsol™ with the soil and water nothing could live in the water or grow in the soil on the dam. The tests were a success, the Bauxsol™ had bound to the metals and stabilised them and life soon returned to the site.