Utopia – part of the FotoFreo 2012 Open Exhibition Programme
“Utopia” is an exhibition about my love affair with the West Australian coast, in particular the coast just north and south of the port of Fremantle. But it’s also a valediction to that coast, as it has existed for generations of West Aussies, in the face of increased commodification and commercialisation of our coastal landscape.
Through a series of images, “Utopia” explores what was, is and will be. as urban and commercial development take hold of coastal landscapes, transforming what was once an iconic geography celebrated in West Australian art, literature and poetry – the patch of sand, sea and surf that belonged to no one and to everyone – into residential, retail and recreational spaces that have increasingly become the province of the privileged: million dollar apartments and million dollar views for million dollar incomes.
These images, which are created by combining digital and analogue photographs with found objects, present a story of change, as the dream to own one’s own patch of sand, sea and surf ironically transforms natural coastlines into marinas, artificial beaches, beachside apartments and shopping strips.
At times humorous, at times ironic, “Utopia” is an exhibition for those who love the WA coastal lifestyle and for those who appreciate the importance of valuing and maintaining its egalitarian landscape.