Artist Statement

This series of work reflects a continuing preoccupation with place and landscape. I am particularly interested in photographing those places in city environments where human culture and the natural world intersect. People are absent in these images but they are not far away. Their presence and intervention are visible.

The photographs in this exhibition were shot in Beijing and Sydney. I am also interested in experiencing difference. What is it exactly that visually differentiates one geographical place from another? In these photographs, the specific place is not obvious; it is only the details (and the titles) that indicate which country they were taken in. The closer the view, the subtler the differences are.

Using my camera I am constantly looking at and framing the closer-up, more intimate views. Perhaps it is a personal quest for beauty and solitude in the crowded city. These fragments of places hint at a larger picture and hopefully set up visual associations, memories and narratives for the viewer.

The ideas for this exhibition developed while undertaking a Redgate Residency in Beijing in April 2012. I found myself taking many photographs in parks and gardens and was drawn to do the same back here in Sydney. I printed out a hundred postcard-size pictures that resonated deeply in some way, and arranged and grouped them intuitively. They seemed to fall naturally into colour groups, especially those of yellow, blue, and grey. It also became apparent that the subject matter had became predominantly water, sky and trees. For this installation I have pared down that collection to just 12 images.

‘...a place, and its depiction, is a complicated matter - every site is acted upon by both nature and mankind. In photographing place, we are never just photographing nature. We are always photographing culture. - Gerry Badger

Catherine Cloran 2013

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