“What is the nature of a successful individual life considered against the fate of the community? What are the boundaries of a moral contract with the world? The central theme in nature writing, I think, is a question: what are just relations? What is a person’s just relationship with a place? What are just relations between a community and a place?”
The photographs in this presentation were made at three places in Auckland: a garden, an area of ancient forest, and land currently used for growing food, taken through the seasons and at different times of the day. The photographs were made in the knowledge that these places and the qualities of beauty, light, colour, surface, space and life in them, will soon disappear from this world in exchange for an intersection, an expressway and urban sprawl.
These places were chosen as representative places, ones that lend themselves to what Thoreau described as “the view of myriad eyes … the imagined vision of unrestricted perception transcending the limits of time and space.”
For me, this is a landscape documentary project in the nature of testimony and allegory, rather than journalistic objectivity. It is a narrative told quietly, without dramatic incident. But it is also a narrative that acknowledges that the world we inhabit is not an ‘other’, but is interdependently linked to us - every incidence of destruction, deforestation and loss of habitat for plants, animals, birds and insects, contributes to the destruction of our world, our planet.
The photographs are presented affixed to recycled light board and stacked on the floor against the wall to convey the fragility and vulnerability of the places, their seemingly unproblematic disposability and the fragmentary, collagist and ephemeral nature of the memories they are destined to become. The photographs are unframed with their edges left open to recede into the presentation space.