In defence

In defence of the pathetic fallacy, 2017

Pigment inkjet prints digitally replicating a multi-sheet laminate of plein air photogram films.

In writing “down in the poor country no pauper was I”, poet John Shaw Neilson (1872-1942) proclaimed his love for the parched, infertile, half-cleared mallee country—and his uncertain faith in the redemptive power of love itself. These life-scale shadows cast by flash and moonlight on overlaid sheets of gelatin silver film (here reiterated on paper) record old Belah trees (Casuarina pauper) in a remote nature reserve close to where Neilson once lived. Like most of the surviving bush in the region, this fragile, untidy tangle of relict dry woodland doesn’t lend itself to naked-eye representation. Rather like the poet, the layered, camera-less imagery points to riches beyond appearances – riches perpetually veiled at the threshold of revelation – or erasure. A print of this work was a finalist in the 2019 Banyule Award for Works on Paper.

The print digitally reiterates a 14-layer film palimpsest from the series Down in the poor country.