Thrice Upon A Time
Project info

I grew up on a dairy farm in South Australia. Falling milk prices and rising maintenance costs forced my parents, under the threat of bankruptcy, to sell everything and leave in 1989. I was fourteen years old.

Twenty-two years later, Mum and Dad performed a collaborative 'homecoming' on my behalf. Every month for one year, they revisited our former farm, wearing on the soles of their shoes a set of negatives I had made at the farm in 2005, when I took photographs of places where they had made snapshots of me as a child. As my parents walked the farm, the negatives became abraded and imprinted with local dirt and debris. The negatives were then returned to me, some so damaged they had to be pieced together with tweezers.

This series is a movement of reclamation and transcription. Since we can no longer work the land with our hands, I work it through the lens, and tread, of my parents. The dominant motive for this work is my longing for an idealised vision of home. The resulting images mythologise my holy land, an inheritance I ache for.

Work from this series is held in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film (Rochester, NY) and the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL).