“…after we ate we was silent on our blankets looking out across the mighty Great Divide I never seen this country before it were like a fairy story landscape the clear and windy skies was filled with diamonds the jagged black outlines of the ranges were a panorama.” - Peter Carey, The True History of the Kelly Gang
At first these images appear to be reflections in water. Landscapes on the edge of dams or waterholes. On closer inspection, some anomalies become apparent. Impossible cloud formations, peculiar foliage, unfamiliar creatures, hidden faces. Bright blue skies have been transformed into black lakes, scrubby tussocks become yonic ….
The technique used here is similar to the mathematical formula slide, flip, turn also used in the creation of Oriental rug designs, Hindu/Buddhist mandalas, and Navajo textiles. Symmetry has been used by the human throughout time seemingly because the mind finds this kind of pattern making attractive and calming. In this case, it has created beauty with a dark and creepy twist.
Braidwood sits at the base of the upland area of The Great Dividing Range. The source photographs are all Braidwood landscapes, some urban and some rural. This local landscape is an ongoing theme informing my work perhaps because this is the country where I grew up and continue to live. It talks to my relationship with my ancestry and my deep feelings of connection to the land. I am a 6th generation roamer of these parts. My grandfather wrote extensively about this country through poetry and story.
“I pass through hazy gorges, where time scarred ranges wild, greet in stark serenity their homing half-lost child.” - James Henry Sturgiss, High Hill Harmony
I am interested in translating the landscape visually and experimentally, which strangely in this case I have done by utilising a technique that creates symmetry and organisation. And fairies in the seams…