Swamp sheoaks grow in the low lying moist areas around the Canning River, Perth.
Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River
Ready to hang
Framed Aluminium – graphite 74.5cm x 61.5cm
40x50cm Hand Printed Silver Gelatin Print, window mounted behind clear acrylic sheet
Signed, numbered, Edition 4 of 10
Includes Postage and Insurance within Australia
Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River 40x50cm Print Framed Aluminium 74.5cm x 61.5cm ed10
Swamp sheoaks hesperantha falcatta Canning River 40x50cm Print Framed Aluminium 74.5cm x 61.5cm ed10 - postage within Australia included
Swamp sheoaks Canning River
Living in Perth I am lucky to be so close to the Canning River and its reserves. There are kilometres of cycleways and walkways traveling up and down the river, passing through parklands of flooded gums and sheoaks, were you can always find some peace and quiet. Then there is the river itself, which is wonderful to paddle your canoe or kayak on. Upstream near my neighbourhood, the Canning River diverges into many leads with dead ends. The river banks are covered with bushland, giving you an impression you are anywhere but in the city. There is a multitude of bird life from ducks and swans, even large kites.
Swamp sheoak 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 from European settlement and subsequent land use. This image was exhibited in my solo exhibition “Dissociation” at Heathcote Museum and Gallery.
This image of the swamp sheoaks, Casuarina obesa, was taken during Spring, just on dusk. The little white flowers (Hesperantha falcata) open up only in the full shade or very late afternoon. Like so many of our most successful weeds, Hesperantha falcata originates from South Africa, and it literally carpets sections of the Canning River reserve.
In previous years during Spring, I have resisted making a similar image, because I did not want viewers to misinterpret these as wildflowers native to the park. Eventually, I decided to work amongst the swamp sheoaks over the course of a 12 month season, recording the changes in their immediate environs.
From sombre deep winter tones to abundant white of spring flowers, then to the stark black charcoal from summer fires. Even though the photograph may not show an ecological ideal of native bushland, it never the less offers a glimpse of its seasonal state during these times.
Published in “Lost in Suburbia” in 2013, and in “Dissociation” in 2015 Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue. About hand made silver prints.