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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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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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Be tenacious.

Be tenacious Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia.

Be tenacious. These wind swept branches are an example of how tenacious life really is, even in adverse situations. With its roots wedged between massive granite boulders, the sheer force exerted by millions of minuscule living cells is sufficient, over a long period of time, to lift and displace these rocks just enough to allow this tree to grow. And given its size it has successfully adapted and overcome environmental extremes such as no soil, prevailing winds (sometimes at gale force), salt spray, diminishing rainfall and intense sun exposure.

I can only guess how old it is, but this is one of a few larger specimens that sprawl out for several metres over the boulders at Cape Naturaliste.