Loraine and the Illusion of Illoura -
Encounters with an Outer Land
2010 - 2012
Diary excerpt, Eyre Highway:
There are many things to see. Some seem like stage-sets from a distant era, others stand out in their nonchalant triviality, ready to be seen only by eyes that dare to find significance in things unspectacular and forgotten. There is much to be heard – the trees swooshing by us in a rush, the deepness of silence, the land breathing heavy under the heat. Our thoughts, as wide as the scene unfolding before us, are riper in stillness. In the hungry search for lasting memories and beauty, the question begs: how do we classify one thing above the other, subscribe to it more meaning?
Diary excerpt, Venus Bay:
And in the early hours of the morning, as if woken by a collective alarm clock, all men on holiday rise at once, they stretch their arms to the sun, inhaling lungfuls of reborn air. They glance at the sea expanding before them, and then, as if they were one and the same man, they tend to their rods, gently, filled with an almost youthful anticipation of the catch that lies ahead. They exchange fishing news. The sea, of course, will give them fish.
Australia is a vast and expansive land, yet it counts amongst the most urbanized countries in the world, and rural towns have long faced population decline.
National economic shifts and their resulting stagnancy, farm adjustment processes and the effects of droughts have all contributed to a steady decay in the local, particularly in the wheat belt. During the summer months, when harvest is done, those remaining flock to the ocean for relief from the heat, leaving behind ghost towns scattered along the country's main highways. The Encounters project is a work in progress, documenting regional and remote Australia in a globalised 21st Century, all the while journeying into our complex relationship with the land.