title: scanned negative from the 1993 North West from where I stand series
medium: digital scan of silver gelatin negative
This image was part of a poliptych of 6 that formed a panoramic view of the ‘graveyard’, each print was 1 mt square. The original prints were hand bleached and selectively toned with sepia with some hand coloring.
The work was exhibited at the Helen Schutt Gallery at the CCP in Fitzroy Melbourne, 1995 it was then bought to the Northern Territory. It was re -installed on an iron wood and Indonesian boat timber frame and stand made by Rex Maxwell and exhibited at Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association (DBCYA) during the Dinah Beach Art Award. It received First Prize and the Peoples Choice and remained at DBCYA until 2010 when it mysteriously disappeared.
These original prints had been covered in a west system resign to protect them from the weather but has sustained extensive damage over the years.
Statement from North west from where I stand
I went to Darwin and bought a boat. I bought into a life style. I lived on my boat. I cooked on the beach. I washed under a hose. I burnt mossie coils. I was pissed on by sandflies. I ate rice and fish. I had candles for light. I drank red wine. I learnt about rope. I met water people from all over the world. I knew when the next full moon was. I knew where Saturn was. I was out to sea. I was on watches. I was hot. I was cold.
About the Photographs
The negatives were taken on a Mamiya C220. Printed on Ilford Multigrade double weight fibre base paper. They were selectively toned, bleached and washed with inks.
The actual images were taken in 1993 on location at Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association, positioned on Frances Bay road in Darwin, between the months of June and December. They are of the people and the place. I purchased a boat, to be precise it was a flat bottomed barge, thirty foot long and itchy with fibre glass. It was careened on a small beach inside of the Darwin Harbour. I lived on that boat for many months. I built a canopy roof from bamboo and an old Indonesian ‘shopping bag’ sail, which originally came from the boat directly in front of mine. Whilst I was living this life I met the Captain and First Mate from an Indonesian Prau. Plans were to set sail from Darwin to Hervey Bay to fit an upright piano on board. Their plans included me. We departed from Darwin in September This passage was alive. Being a traditional Indonesian boat without the western technology (except for an engine that had been fitted in Darwin, temperamental light fittings and a transistor radio good for a song) We sailed the Arafura sea. We made a few stops along the way until we reached the Gove Peninsular. Nhulunbuy, the last stop before the Gulf of Carpentaria. It was there that I left this expedition and flew back to Darwin and then later to Lorne Victoria. In September 1994 I moved to Melbourne to print these photographs. This year I plan to take these photographs to Darwin. Early this year the conservation department commissioned a historical investigation into the boat I had purchased. They had moved it from the small beach, saving it from the developers bulldozers. Many of the boats in the area were moved bulldozed burned or pulled apart for their timber. Many of these boats were home for people. The Conservation Department had believed my boat had been part of a war and was worth saving. Some months later it was discovered that the boat was only a fishing vessel, since then I’ve been told the beach was ‘cleaned up’ for corrupt and negligent reasons. I wouldn’t know I live in Melbourne. I’d love to go back and see.
This statement is as it appears in the North West from where I stand 1995 exhibition floor sheet
In 2009 I revisited this time in my life whilst studying at CDU hence the scanned negative that reappear in subsequent work.
Washing drying at Maningrida, negitive1993, printed hand toned and bleached 1996, available as digital print edition of 10