Some old pines in an agricultural fields Jagger Rd:
This is a road I travel on in the Subaru Forester to take the poodles for their walks on the back country roads.
This picture was made whilst walking along Baum Rd, Waitpinga, on an afternoon poodle walk in 2012:
It is a pink gum. Waitpinga is in the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia.
A tree in the agricultural landscape of the Midlands in Tasmania:
The photo was made in 2011. It started raining soon after the photo was made.
This picture was made at Safety Beach on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne, Victoria in 2010:
It was an overcast afternoon and IU was walking along the path along the foreshore.
This is another local tree. It is on the roadside of a country road in Waitpinga, South Australia that I often walk down.
The picture was made in 2016 whilst I was on an early morning poodlewalk.
I discovered last night that Sophie Cunningham has a tree of the day Instagram account. Mary Macpherson has a book of trees in New Zealand called Bent. I am sure that there are other photographers photographing tree apart from Beth Moon.
Arboraphobia”, the fear of trees makes sense given the massacre of trees that is our revenge on the choking bush.
The pioneer settlers possessed a “psychopathic fear of the gum or the wattle”. Then there is the zeal with which bulldozers levelled the ground before post-war suburbs were built; and Tasmania’s continuing determination to churn up ancient forests and sift them into woodchip?
Trees are associated with darkness and anxiety specific to the Australian colonial experience of the Australian bush. The Australian landscape must be stripped of its trees--along with the Aboriginal presence--- if room is to be made for its colonisers. This was so even though settler Australia's vision of the landscape as empty, unwelcoming bush or desert.
This blog has transformed into a photoblog about trees including what happens to trees once they have been cut down.
These photographs are not of trees in the wilderness. I live in a place where there are trees, and I frequently photograph them a lot whilst I am on my poodle walks. This photographing of trees then extends to my road trips. These are mostly trees in agricultural landscapes.
A picture of four trees on local country road--Baum Rd-- which were photographed on a late afternoon walk on an overcast day. The rain was coming in from the south-west.
Robin Boyd, a critic of suburban sprawl, coined the term "arboraphobia," or white Australia's fear of trees, that led to massive razing of land to create a paved suburban landscape. A suburbia that is a wasteland, a dry, ugly cement landscape of the suburbs; mangy backyards with pathetic garden plots and dark, claustrophobic interiors with cracked walls and ceilings and, ironically, floral carpets. These images are linked to moral aridity, sexual dysfunction, the sterile suffocation of suburban living, and the dread of natural growth invading the house.
The traditional interpretation of the Australian landscape is one of majestic gums and sunlight plains--exemplified by Hans Heysen--- rather than the sublime's darker twilight landscape that evokes a sense of eeriness and unease; or the landscape as transformed by human beings through farming.
This landscape has been carved up for family-style farming and it has become private property. All that is left as a public space are the roads between the boundaries of the private property. A dirt road, a fence, and remnant roadside vegetation.
The subject matter of this conceptual photographic project --pink gum and Xanthorrhoea---means that it is a particular representation of part of the Australian landscape. It works within the Australian landscape tradition that aimed to reveal to Australians the landscape of their country in their own place and time.
This is a tradition in which the landscape is the dominant image of Australia--eg., Arthur Streeton's The Land of the Golden Fleece (1926)---and whose imagery has been reworked and undergone regeneration and redefinition. Examples include John Glover, Eugene von Guerard, the Heidleberg School, Hans Heysen, Albert Namatjira, Russell Drysdale etc. The imagery was usually interpreted in terms of a concern for a national identity, Australian dependency and isolation, and the creation of a national style.
The latter was deemed to be provincal and resistant to nonfiguration, whilst modernist abstraction was deemed to be international, innovative and avant gardist. International was actually New York as the dominant centre of modernist art, American abstraction and Clement Greenberg.
The latter failed to see that abstraction was a tradition whose imagery has been reworked and undergone regeneration and redefinition and that the images in both the abstraction and naturalist traditions emerge from, and are an expression of, the place in which we live. This gives rise to a regional art in a global world.