Obscura Festival, August 2016

I was very excited to have some of my work included alongside a group of wonderful Australia-based photographers in the Belonging exhibition at the recent 2016 Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang, Malaysia. The show was curated by Melbourne-based artist, educator, writer and curator Daniel Boetker-Smith.

Curator's statement:
"This exhibition explores the complexity of contemporary Australian identity and belonging. The works bring together a diverse array of photographers who contemplate personal and public notions of belonging in the context of Australia as both the ‘lucky and unlucky country’. Australia is shown as the land of the fair-go, and of constant possibility, but also as a land of rivalries, prejudices and violent pathologies. Collectively this exhibition seeks out threads of a narrative of the mythic Australia. Myths jostle, and contradict one another; they are stories that a nation and its people tell themselves again and again, and they become reworked through the images a country produces. This collection of images, ‘probes the contradictions inherent in myth, seeing place and belonging as both life-giving and annihilating'."

Featured artists: Stacy Arezou MehrfarDavid-Ashley KerrSimone RosenbauerDale van IerselHoda Afshar, Kate Golding, Katrin KoenningKelvin SkewesMichael CorridorePhuong NgoRaphaela RosellaRicky MaynardRobyn Daly and Sarah Pannell.

The two works selected by the curator were made on Gooreng Gooreng Country, Queensland. The landscape image below was made on my first visit to the area in mid-2014. The portrait photograph was created last year when I returned to the Town of Seventeen Seventy to attend the 1770 Festival which occurs in May each year and includes a play where Cook's landing is reenacted. In 2015, Shane Webster played the role of Lieutenant James Cook R.N. 

Shane Webster as Lieutenant James Cook, Town of Seventeen Seventy Re-enactment Festival, Gooreng Gooreng Country 2015


Bustard Bay, Gooreng Gooreng Country 2014

“In the AM I went a shore with a party of men in order to examine the Country accompaned by Mr Banks and the other gentlemen. We landed a little within the South Point of the Bay where there is a channel leading into a large lagoon.”

- Lieutenant James Cook R.N. May 23rd 1770