The correct distance between objects
is critical, whether that distance is physical, cultural or emotional.
Two objects too close to each other become one,
Two objects too far apart no longer relate to each other.
Intrigued by experiments with chance relationships, accidental spatial configurations and a type of spontaneous feng shui, the focus of the work is not only the objects – whether found, made or observed – but the space around, between and inside the objects, being the cultural or emotional significance of the objects.
I often observe Australia from outside Australia; I want to see how it is perceived from another position and also from cultures within Australia.
Following an invitation to work in Vietnam in 1998, and my experience of living in Vietnam, the work references Australia’s involvement with Vietnam and Vietnamese migrants in Australia. This work deals with characters, events and locations that are significant in that which has helped shape Australia: Gallipoli, Mabo, Banjo Patterson, Maralinga, etc.
American crater near Hanoi #2 is a work that deals with the physical, emotional and historical nature of space and place. Since my first visits to Vietnam I have been documenting bomb craters. While measuring, filming, tracing and photographing these emotive and politically charged spaces one discovers a morbid fascination with these shapes, and a haunting beauty about their physical, cultural and emotional form. This space, once occupied, is undergoing constant change.
American crater near Hanoi #2 is motivated by recent involvement with a non-profit organisation, PROJECT RENEW in Quang Tri Province Central Vietnam. Their primary objectives are Mine Risk Education (MRE), and to clear Quang Tri Province and neighbouring regions of landmines and other unexploded ordinances.
Photography: Ionas Kaltenbach