The Landscape Re-presented, 1983

New Light, Australian Centre for Photography, 7 Dec – 24 Dec 1983
The Landscape Re-presented, Union Street Gallery, 26 March –  12 April 1986
Pure Invention, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, 1987
Southern Crossings/Empty Land, Camerawork, London, 1992
A Time and a Place: Landscapes from the Griffith University Art Collection, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane, February – April 2015

This series re-writes some of the dominant representations of the Australian landscape.

This series (begun in 1983) draws on earlier representations of the Australian landscape by painters who sought to promote the landscape as the principal determinant of an Australian national identity. Their idealising and romanticising of the bush produced a host of images and stories that celebrate and mythologise its characters and legends. The landscape as depicted, with its ‘heroic’ pioneers, bushman and new settlers entrenched itself in the national discourse and remains inextricably woven into the Australian mythololgy. This is evident today within the Australian feature film industry (films like Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max), advertising, literature and the visual arts.

Working with this tradition on these familiar sites enables a rewriting of the dominant representations in order to construct a less romantic, less masculine and less anglo-centric image of Australia. The continued celebration of the Heidelberg School and the consequent resurgence of nationalism that their work elicits seem strangely inappropriate to a population that is primarily urban and multicultural.