Posted on

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

 

Posted on

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.

Posted on

Canning River signs of Autumn

Canning River Perth

The hard summer dryness in the parkland around the Canning River is slowly softening. Yesterday morning there were signs that the seasons were changing with our first mist for the calendar year. The daytime air is still warm but the sun is getting up a little later each day. I took an early morning stroll with my camera, the landscape enveloped by a gentle glowing light, something we don’t see too frequently here in Perth. A few early morning joggers and walkers were out enjoying the cooler air, but mostly I had the misty forest and pathways to myself, it was a quiet and peaceful morning of a long weekend. You could barely believe that this regional park is bordered by suburbia, shopping centres and highways. For those of us who live near the Canning River in Perth, we are just so lucky to have this wonderful asset at our doorstep whilst being in the middle of a city.