Daniel Bushaway‘s photographs from ‘Still Places’ examine the dichotomy between us and the natural environment and the interplay between the vastness of nature and the small place we hold within it.
For over two years Bushaway travelled through rural Victoria, in Australia, and the landscape around the Moonee Creek Co-operative. It was this journey into a isolated region – in which communities had made a conscious decision to live off grid and harmoniously with nature – that inspired him to take these pictures. Images that are perfectly still. Have a quietness and almost Zen like aspect to them. The only indentation in this utopia the small man made structures such as dilapidated caravans, cabins and wood bins that serve to re-iterate our tenuous relationship to the natural world.
Using a large format camera and shooting in natural light Bushaway shot these photographs in winter in order to intensify the lush textures of the foliage, an environment that is dense, rich and vibrant, is pristine and abundant with life. Ultimately these photographs are a reflection of his own ideas of perfect harmony with nature, an idyll that doesn’t exist but one we all must aspire too if we are to protect and live on this planet. Furthermore they are beautiful pictures to lose ourselves in. They ask us to slow down, be cognisant of the beauty that surrounds us and become aware of the importance of the natural environment and the destruction we wrought upon it everyday. Here’s what he has to say about the series:
I undertook extensive visits to the location at different times throughout the year, this helped me craft a perfect memory of the land which I solidified on film. Colour and seasonal specificity play a significant role in capturing tangible atmospheric experiences such as sound, smell and weather. The sense of scale and perspective is distorted and only contextualised with the odd interjection of semi-permanent man-made structures.
The dense natural surroundings has enabled me to undertake a journey into isolation, stillness and ultimately my rural utopian dreams.