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Canning River Dissociation Photographic Exhibition Heathcote Gallery

dissociation photographic exhibition

Canning River Dissociation Exhibition

You are invited to the opening

Heathcote Gallery & Museum, Applecross, Perth

March 7 to April 12, 2015

Canning River Dissociation Exhibition.

Opening night Friday, 6th March 6pm RSVP phone 9364 5666 or heathcote@melville.wa.gov.au

Canning River Dissociation is an exhibition of 30 hand printed black and white photographic prints made within the Canning River Regional Park, Perth.

The work explores the concept of beauty within a challenging and changing environment of a metropolitan regional park.

Come to the Gallery on Sat 14th March 1pm where I will give an artist talk. During my discussion I will explain my choices in using film, large format cameras and the traditional darkroom to create the prints in this exhibition. I will also explain how your creative decisions are guided by having direct contact with your materials. You may discover the process is more considered than many of today’s popular workflows.

The following day at 1pm at the Gallery, I will be giving a free workshop demonstrating film development. Places are limited so please contact the Gallery on: heathcote@melville.wa.gov.au or phone 9364 5666

Look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

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Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River Perth Western Australia

Swamp sheoaks and hesperantha falcatta

Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin- sold.

Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta grow in the low lying moist areas around the Canning River, Perth. The sheoaks trunks range in colour from a dull brown to a dull grey, depending upon the season, and are marked with bright white flecks and spots. The white carpet of flowers which dominates the sheoak understorey in Spring, is hesperantha falcatta, which originates from South Africa. Sheoaks are common along the Canning River but the flowers are invaders. This image is frequently mistaken to be from the northern hemisphere. While the flowers appeal to our notion of landscape beauty, they potentially displace indigenous plants and reduce biodiversity. They are a contemporary sign of our changing environment hence the reason I left the clue in the title. This image was exhibited in my solo exhibition “Dissociation” at Heathcote Museum and Gallery. It was also discussed in my blog.  About hand made silver prints.

first published in “Lost in Suburbia” in 2013, “Dissociation” 2015 Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue

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Walking dog Canning River Perth Australia

Man walking dog Canning River Regional Park Australia

Walking dog Canning River Perth, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print

Walking dog Canning River Canning River Perth. There are several good pathways plus two pedestrian bridges within the Canning River Regional Park. In the early morning and evenings the pathways are popular with local residents exercising their pets. This image was made one particularly cool morning. There had been some overnight rain that cleared to a cold night. In the morning a light fog developed, enveloping the flooded gums and paperbarks in a soft light. I was near the pathway and had my camera set up looking towards the misty river when I noticed the man and dog walking below the tree lined path about to be bathed in bright misty light. HP5 4×5 sheet film, 4×5 wooden field camera, 300mm lens f45 1 second.  About hand made silver prints.

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Canning River woodlands mist Perth Australia

Morning mist woodlands Canning River Perth

Canning River woodlands mist Perth  hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print -sold.

Canning River woodlands mist Perth Western Australia. The open woodland track near the Greenfield Street bridge follows the banks of the Canning River. In the cooler months the mist gathers in the open fields and becomes dense around the river. On this morning there was a slight breeze and you could see the mist gathering. Standing beneath some flooded gums I pointed my camera back towards Greenfield Bridge, framing an old tree in the foreground. If I remember correctly I used a 300mm lens on my 4×5 field camera. Film was HP5 and the exposure was 10 seconds. I had forgotten to bring my watch so I had to count to 10 to time the exposure. Just to make sure I made a second back up exposure at 1 second using a wider aperture. The first exposure was the better as it had greater depth of field and was a good density.  About hand made silver prints.

 

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Canning River oxygenation trail Perth Western Australia

Canning River oxygenation trail

Canning River oxygenation trail, hand printed 11×11 inch baryta based silver gelatin print- sold

Canning River oxygenation trail, Perth, Australia. Bubbles from nearby oxygen tanks pumped into the river to alleviate anaerobic conditions exacerbated by low water volumes and algal blooms. There are oxygenation tanks on the banks of the Canning River between Nicholson Road bridge Kent Street Weir. Large black polythene tubes run from the tanks into the river, snaking there way down stream just below the water’s surface. Oxygen is released from the pipes and percolates up through the water, leaving a trail on the surface. The Department of Water released a report in 2013 stating that  anaerobic conditions existed in the river most times of the year, meaning that the water is deprived of oxygen to support aquatic life. A third oxygenation tank was completed in 2014. The Department’s report also highlighted elevated levels of toxins and reduced rainfall due to the drying of the climate. It was reported that desalinated water had also been pumped into the river to maintain it. About hand made silver prints.

Oxygenation trail Canning River Perth 11×11 inch hand printed silver gelatin fibre based print. First published in Lost in Suburbia in 2013, then Circuit Magazine and Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue “Dissociation” 2015.

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Soft muted colours of a winter morning Canning River

Canning River wetlands soft muted colours

Soft muted colours of a winter morning. With clear winter nights those chilly mornings are upon us again (chilly in Perth is when it drops below about 5ºC !). The samphires in the wetlands around the Canning River change colour this time of year from dull green grey to a soft mauve or pink. See if you can spot the two little fellas out and about for an early and chilly breakfast.

On this morning I was carrying in my pocket a small Canon digital camera. Doubtless, if I had my 4×5 by the time I  was set up the ducks would have moved, hence the expression ‘the best camera is the one you have at hand’. What I really enjoy most about this image are the soft muted colours and tones in which the ducks are almost camouflaged. The image is a jpeg straight from the camera and matches the quiet and stillness of a cold winter morning  at day break.

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Photography Exhibition Canning River Eco Education Centre

Canning River Wetlands Perth Australia

Photography Exhibition Canning River is a personal photographic project I began taking my camera with me on my daily walks to record the wetland landscape between Greenfield Bridge and Kent St Weir and some of the uses people made of it.

Photographing the Canning River Regional Park was a natural extension of the landscape photography I have been making for publications since the late 80s. Most of that work has drawn me to remote locations, often national parks and reserves, where I would hike, camp and photograph.

The concept of national parks is sometimes a curious one. Parks and reserves are defined on maps with explicit boundaries indicated by blocks of colour or dotted lines. Of course in the natural world no such clear cut boundaries really exist, just regions of transition. However, those dotted lines hold power, shaping how we identify with the land and our perception of its value.  Images made within a national park boundary are more readily published than a similar landscape outside of that boundary.

Consequently, one landscape’s value can be held above another. This is not surprising as visiting national parks invokes positive associations of beauty, the exotic, freedom, relaxation and ‘getting back to nature’.

The landscape I am choosing to interpret does not involve the romance of travel, it is familiar not exotic, it is in my own back yard, within the city.

But choosing to value one landscape over another, and by implication the welfare of one above another, may be just as curious a notion as the neat lines drawn on a map. All land forms are interconnected and communicate through zones of transition with each other. The welfare and healthy state of one region affects its neighbouring regions, and so on. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

No where is this concept more apparent than the example of the Canning River flowing from a plateau down to an urbanised sand plain, meeting the Swan River, then out to sea. A river does not observe discrete boundaries or rights granted on a map, nor do birds or animals. Likewise a fence does not prevent weeds from spreading from one side to another, or define a clear ecological demarcation of species habitat, nor does it prevent water or air borne contaminants from one side entering another.

Much work in research, monitoring and rehabilitation has been conducted within the park by agencies and volunteers.  The resulting images started in 2011 have now emerged into a pictorial collection of the park land in its current state and use. I have chosen to embrace all of the park’s character, including both native species and the new invading species which have arrived since European settlement.  To this day I continue to make images of the parkland and river, as part of an ongoing project in documenting its state of change. 44 images have been published in the book: Lost in Suburbia, published by Stormlight Publishing, which was launched and exhibited at Riverton Library in 2013.

If you are in the Wilson – Kent Street area then please come to Photography Exhibition Canning River and have a look, afterwards you can enjoy a coffee next door at the cafe.

Canning River Eco Education Centre     Opening times and map

May 12 to June 5th, 2014

 

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Canning River photo Lost in Suburbia Exhibition Book

Canning River Photo
Oxygenation trail Canning River Perth

Exhibition & Book

18th November to 6th December 2013

Riverton Library

Canning River photo exhibition and book. To coincide with the release of my book “Lost in Suburbia” a selection of black and white images will be exhibited at Riverton Library, corner High and Riley Roads, Riverton.

The Canning River Regional Park is located 9 kilometres south east of central Perth, and is the largest regional park in the metropolitan area. This book is a visual record of the parkland’s recreational use and beauty. An ecologically and socially important parkland in a secluded little pocket off to one side of major urbanisation, a parkland hidden from general view, almost lost in suburbia.

The book can be ordered from Blurb.

The exhibition runs for 3 weeks. Anyone who lives near the Canning River or who has an interest in the urban environment or photography is invited to come along.

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Bannister Creek Perth Restoration Western Australia

Bannister Creek Canning River Perth

Bannister Creek Perth

Bannister Creek Perth is close to where I live. Lately I have been spending more time photographing around the Perth region, focusing on what is happening within my own “backyard”. Bannister Creek flows through metropolitan suburbia into the Canning River. Looking at this you could be mistaken for thinking you are somewhere in the south west, but this is in the middle of suburbia, with houses either side of its banks. It is intriguing to observe that the rear of the suburban  blocks uniformly face the creek, makes you wonder what the planners were thinking in turning their backs on this rare urban feature. Bannister Creek has had significant wetland restoration work done to it recently. The health of this creek and others like it all have an impact on the health of the Canning and Swan Rivers.

A hand printed 16×20 inch fibre based print of Bannister Creek was exhibited in my 2015 exhibition “Dissociation” at Heathcote Museum & Gallery.

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Zamia Palm Canning River Reserve

Zamia Palm

Zamia Palm Canning River Reserve Perth. With all those spikes, palms are generally are not my favourite plants. These are the seed pods (for want of a better description?) of our local zamia palm. Apparently they belong to a pretty old and relatively unchanged species, dating back to when dinosaurs roamed around, but I did hear that maybe they are not as ancient as some thought. They certainly look like they belong in a lush rain forest, and, to me at least, always seem a bit out of place visually amongst our dry open forests of irregularly shaped trees and bushes. This photograph was made in the Canning River reserve.