Falls Creek Residency - Day 2
During the night the fog lifted
and when I woke I could see great distances
as Falls Creek revealed itself.
A perfect day to explore, looking for interesting places, trying to understand what I am surrounded by.
After a day exploring, and as the night fell, I headed to Ruined Castle, a unique columnar jointed basalt rock formation. I wanted to project some images from the CSIRO collection of Bogong Moth's. Bogong Moths are a special feature of this area, the moth starts its life in Queensland where it is considered an agricultural pest due to the wide spread crop damage it causes. In the moths short 12 month lifecycle, it then flies to the NSW and Victorian Alps, where it estivates inside caves for 3-4 months in large numbers of hundreds of thousands. The moths then fly back to Queensland, lay their eggs and die.
The Bogong Moth is high in protein and traditionally was a food source to Aboriginal people. Their status as agricutural pests in the northern areas means that Bogong Moths have carried arsenic from the agricultural regions which has then impacted on local flora and fauna in the Australian Alps region.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with Josephine Flood while she visited the National Museum of Australia. Josephine is an archeologists who, from the 1960's, researched Bogong Moths and has donated a large collection to many institutions such as the National Museum of Australia. Amongst these collection items is a Bogong pestle, traditionally used for grinding up Bogong Moths for food. When I photographed the relevant collection items Josephine seem concerned that I wasn't placing another object next to each specimen so that my photographs had a reference of scale, a common practice amongst archaeologists. My aim with projecting images like this into the landscape is to play with scale and to consider the enormity of the objects impact, their cultural and social scale rather than their physical scale. How do we feel when we view them large on the very landscape that they impact?
After several hours of projecting, I decided to continue with some night time photography exercises. As I prefer photographing in very low light conditions, I am taking this opportunity to practice my night photography skills each night, some fun to round out the day.