Meringur Suite (Belah), 2017
Part 1: stack of 14 toned gelatin silver film photograms interleaved with 7 Perspex sheets (24 cm x 63 cm x 3 cm assemblage displayed on a 60 cm x 150 cm x 20 cm light box); Part 2: pigment print on archival rag paper (91 cm x 235 cm image in frame 110 cm x 249 cm) produced in edition of one + artist’s proof.
This is and is not a landscape photograph. It began by projecting light onto a door-sized sheet of gelatin silver film at night through the foliage of an old Belah (Casuarina pauper) tree in Meringur Flora and Fauna Reserve, north-west Victoria. The resulting plein air negative was contact-printed onto a tonally-inverted second film, which was cut-up and stacked into a film-sandwich (Part 1). The positive (negative of a negative) assemblage was then scanned for digital enlargement on paper (Part 2). Each mimesis replicates the shape of that hot, crackling-underfoot rectangle of relict Mallee eucalypt, cypress-pine and whispering casuarina, but only in the muted hues and imbricate forms of these postludes (these photographic ‘shadows of shadows’) are we able to imagine we are peering in daylight into the tangled depths of a fragile life-world.
Meringur Suite (a.k.a. In defence of the pathetic fallacy) was exhibited in the Art & Herbarium Project at Lab 14, Carlton (Melbourne) in March 2017 and as part of Climart in the group exhibition Flow at Counihan Gallery, Brunswick (Melbourne) in April-May, 2017.