Above Savage River, 2017
These landscape images were taken with a 4x5 pinhole camera using black & white film.
In the spring of 2016 I travelled to Tasmania`s north-west to an area known as the Tarkine wilderness. The Tarkine is one of the last areas of untouched ancient forest in Tasmania.
I had been reading about the discovery of Van Diemen`s Land (Tasmania) and its subsequent colonial history and wanted to slow my image making down to reflect on the past and to connect with the unchanged landscape surrounding me.
I was intrigued by the early accounts of seafarer`s and mariners from the 17th century who described the island`s interior as being an area of “impenetrable forest”. This conjured up another frontier. A boundary between the barely known and the totally unknown. A fortress wall of ancient trees behind which anything might lie in the minds of these seafaring visitors.
In today`s connected world it is almost impossible to grasp how these explorers felt as they made their way into the forest often with little or no equipment.
I try to imagine their experiences. To see through their eyes. I move over the very same untouched land but I`m insulated in a very different experience. I wear thermal clothes and waterproof boots. I carry a water bottle and a sandwich. I occupy the same space, yet my perception of this very same land are light years apart. Were they alive, the stories these convict explorers could tell.
For this print series the analogue film images were scanned and digitized. This unframed image is printed on Hahnemuhle German Etching 310 gsm a lightly textured premium quality paper. Print includes white border as shown. All work includes my distinctive orange stamp applied direct to the finished print.
Tree ferns, 2017
“The large slow-moving river cut through the forest. We followed parallel on a small flood plain under trees. Stepping over logs, it took a moment to see the carnage that surrounded us. Large broken branches draped in matted bark strips hung high above our heads. In the shaded light we thought about the winter storms and the swollen river whilst ranks of ancient tree ferns marched out of the forest and down to the water’s edge.”