Memories on the Edge
For many Australians, annual holidays involve a decamping of life to the beach, a settling into new rules and routines, and becoming part of that most interesting transition zone where the land meets the ocean. The air-water interface plays tricks on the eyes, the camera responds differently in the portrayal of colour and emotional tone; being engulfed in the turbulent surf often transforms the photographer’s view in unexpected ways. The ocean often has the effect of abstracting the subject reflected and refracted in it from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range of scenes and scenery and giving the image a painterly quality. Memories of youth seen through the prism of a turbulent adult life can be sharp or fractured, soft or harsh: often simplified, idealised and abstracted.
This series was photographed near my home at Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island in the summer of 2015 and features members of my family. Beachside holidays are such an important part of the Australian psyche and many childhoods including mine have a common thread of summer holidays by the beach spending enormous amounts of time in the surf. To connect to my own childhood and relive old memories I started taking my camera with a water proof housing into the surf and taking photos of my family at play.