The landscape of memory and melancholy
The landscape of memory and melancholy (2010)
13.9 x 27.7 cm
Digital print and watercolour on paper
Photography: Layli Rakhsha
The landscape of memory and melancholy project is related to my experience and residency at the Vancouver Art Centre in Albany in 2009. In this project, I have only used my selected photographs of rocks that I took during my walk and conversation with Carol Pettersen who is a Noongar Elder and has skills in interpreting and delivering Indigenous concepts in Albany. Carol took me to many significant and cultural places such as Mt Martin, Mt Melville, Oyster Harbour, Princess Royal Harbour, Two Peoples Bay and Torndirrup National Park in Albany. There is a sense of melancholy in these places and I wanted to image it and depict it in my work. I was listening to Carol’s personal stories and the stories of rocks and places, recording her voice and taking photographs while we were walking in the bush or on the rocks. It was like we knew each other for a long time; we shared our stories and memories with sympathies about home.
This project can also be my visual and audio diary since I was listening to our recorded conversations while I was working on my printed photographs in my studio at the Fremantle Art Centre in 2010.
The landscape of memory and melancholy narrates stories, which are related to how I endeavor holding what I had before and at the same time, embracing what is new and unknown.
I image the vast landscape as bounded landscape and by doing this; the vast landscape becomes intimate, little, private and part of my personal space. I also express my understanding of stories that speak of places, times, remembering, history and nostalgia of the past. I show places and spaces in the landscape that never get lost or forgotten through time and cultural changes in my new work. In other words, my work represents places and spaces that hold cultural narratives.
There’s a significant silence around imaging this kind of lyrical doubling of the landscape that occurs with cultural displacement in The landscape of memory and melancholy work.