KUMARANGK

(Photograph; silver gelatin negative, pigment ink on cotton paper, 2013, 93cm H x 300 cm W).

 from the series - Time and Place

In 2010 I happened upon a healing ceremony initiated by the Ngarrendjeri community in the southern coastal town of Goolwa. Their goal was to move beyond the pain caused by the construction of a bridge to Kumarangk (Hindmarsh Island).  Kumarangk has sacred significance, especially to Ngarrindgeri women and it was crucially important the island remain disconnected from the mainland.  The courts made a special one-off provision to bypass native title and heritage legislation and the bridge was built. The construction was devastating to the Ngarrindjeri community and when completed in 2001, some woman died as a result.   

My response was to begin a two-year conversation with a family of Ngarrendjeri women spanning three generations, and try to understand how events had unfolded and the personal impact on the community. With their support and the kind permission of the late Tom Treverrow, artist Bluey Roberts introduced me to Ngarrendjeri lands.

For three months I trekked through country between Kingston and Cape Jervis. The aim was not to capture pictures of horizons and well-situated tree-lines. I had no interest in creating artefacts that re-presented the landscape.  The aim was to express a metaphysical account of relationship. I was responding to story and character and acknowledging synchronises as they presented themselves. By way of example, while camping under the stars in the Coorong, I woke at 4am to see the Seven Sisters constellation staring back at me. Honouring a sudden urge to drive three hours west to a place I'd not been, I discovered a pelican breeding area as the dawn broke. Pelican are nga:tji, a Ngarrindjeri totem animal, and I was able to make two photographs of significance that were included in the exhibition.  Such experiences became a constant across my twelve week stay in Ngarrindjeri lands.

This collection was exhibited at Signal Point Gallery, in Goolwa in 2013.

See the full collection here.