Open Borders: Erosion
This year I was invited to take part in the Open Borders project, one of the personal highlights of 2022. The Kalgoorlie-Boulder exhibition opened on December 1st, with the local theme of ‘Erosion’, and featured an eclectic mix of thought-provoking works from Goldfields artists. For anyone unable to visit the exhibition my images and artist statement can be viewed below, as well as a link with more information about the project.
With a background in earth science, my photography often focuses on a curiosity for the natural world and its intersection with mining. More broadly, themes in my work commonly portray quiet, abandoned and degraded scenes, or suburban and rural built environments, recording the influence and impact of human activity.
Presented with the subject of ‘erosion’ it was difficult to not think of this project from a geological context.
We perceive erosion as a physical mechanism where wind, water and gravity carve out features in the landscape, often forming stunning attractions. Conversely, these forces destroy soil profiles and water catchments, threatening our ability to produce sustenance for all forms of life.
Similarly with borders, we tend to think in terms of lines on a map, physical barriers, or parochial devotion to sporting teams.
Throughout the ‘Open Borders’ process there’s been opportunities to explore these ideas in greater depth, and beyond a physical geology or geographical setting. It has posed particular challenges and questions. How are the concepts connected, and how do we portray them in important and meaningful ways?
For me, it lead to the prevailing thought that – while not to ignore the obvious – borders and erosion are intrinsically linked to destruction and displacement, particularly when it comes to our sense of self and place.
I created these works with those feelings at the centre, and with the intention of encouraging the viewer to consider the imagery in local and global contexts, with contemporary Australian issues at the heart.
“The Open Borders regional events series is a unique initiative of The Creative Grid – a collective of like-minded arts organisations that collaborate on projects seeding, sharing and promoting regional creativity.”