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Deb Mansfield

“The photographs from Anticipating the Islands explore areas of slippage between representations of interior and exterior spaces, between the exotic and the domestic.

My interest in the exotic has stemmed from my own history of growing up close to Moreton Bay. With large mangrove forests and muddy tidal flats, Moreton Bay, while very much the other, is indeed not the typical exotic of our Southern Arcadia. Caught on the brink, between the fluidity of the sea and the relative rigidity of land, this ever-changing littoral area is at the same time both elements as it is neither.

The new work I have been doing involves installing botanical fragments from the littoral in to my living room. I then photograph these chaotic altered environments to produce visual representations that suggest both outside and inside spaces, both the real and the imagined.

Several of the images reveal a pictorial landscape in the background, such as a 2 x 2 metre photograph of mangrove swamps processed directly onto my living room wall. This piece was executed by applying photographic liquid emulsion directly onto the wall. The emulsion was then exposed and chemically processed in situ.

Works are also made with long exposures of torchlight. This provides an ephemeral quality to the images quite different from the starkness of traditional photographic depiction. It also blurs the distinction between the sculptural botanical constructions and the (disorganised) domestic space which constantly encroaches into the images.”

(Deb Mansfield 2007)