Works on paper

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Air, Sand, Seawater 2009


At the beach, three habitats meet - air, sand and seawater. Many kinds of living things - including people - coexist there. Each picture invites the viewer imaginatively to follow their movements at a moment in time.

 

I photographed the tracks at Mapoon, north of Weipa on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria, where traditional owners manage a project to protect turtle nesting grounds, on a beach that has also been the site of much human history.

 

The actual place would have been far inland for most of its tens of thousands of years of human habitation, being reached by rising seawater only a few thousand years ago. Here, in 1606, was the first recorded contact between Australian and European people. A mission settlement was built in the 1890s, then closed down and burnt in the 1950s and the families forcibly evicted. Some defiantly returned. Residents rescued a grounded airforce crew in the war with Japan in the 1940s. Refugees from Asia landed in the 1990s. Fishermen from Indonesia have visited for hundreds of years; the rangers now have to protect nesting turtles from their lost nets.

 

As we follow the animals' age-old marks and fragments of life and geology selectively isolated on the paper, we may wonder what the future holds for this place.

 

I would like to thank the Tjungundji people for the opportunity to visit and photograph the beach.  I am grateful to Steve Gregg and Glen Miller for introducing me to them.

 

Giclee prints 90cm square

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Antlions -
    Antlions
  • Crocodile sliding down to the water -
    Crocodile sliding down to the water
  • Hatchling turtle searching for the sea, distracted by the light of a bushfire -
    Hatchling turtle searching for the sea, distracted by the light of a bushfire
  • Eagle picking up a stick -
    Eagle picking up a stick
  • Crabs -
    Crabs
  • Dingo raiding a turtle nest -
    Dingo raiding a turtle nest
  • Goanna and hatchling turtle -
    Goanna and hatchling turtle
  • Turtle returning to the sea after laying (1) -
    Turtle returning to the sea after laying (1)
  • Turtle returning to the sea after laying (2) -
    Turtle returning to the sea after laying (2)
  • Wallaby and vehicle -
    Wallaby and vehicle
  • Jabiru foraging along the edge of a driftwood log -
    Jabiru foraging along the edge of a driftwood log
  • Grass blown in the wind -
    Grass blown in the wind