UNKNOWN LAND (2004-2012)
Doubleplusgood Books (Bristol/UK)
48 pages litho-printed
Section sewn with dust jacket
17cm x 24cm
Edition of 500
Archival pigment prints, various sizes
I lived in Australia from 2000-2013 and like many before me intended only a brief stay, an escape from the northern winter which I had never fared well in. Very slowly, like a clump of moss, I became attached to the enigmatic place, drawn in by a curious sense of Jamais Vu I encountered in its vast suburban sprawl. Like a model town built from memory, there is an idealised and dreamy quality to the urban landscape of Australia, the houses and gardens are just that little bit bigger, brimming with fruit trees and multi-coloured plastic slides. The crisp sunlight makes everything look fresh out of the box, as if it were put there just for my eyes. Yet something about the place has always been out of my reach just over the next roundabout, something that doesn’t entirely add up.
When Australia was colonised the settlers brought with them an image of home, which shaken and buffeted by the long journey was damaged, leaving fine cracks across its surface. So that when it was erected in its new location, parts of the proud and ancient land beneath poured through, changing this image into something quite different. These photographs are of those cracks.