Peace

an exhibition by Therese Ritchie 2007

 
 

Over the past several years my work has been brought to life by the attention I have given to the deeds of people who inhabit and ‘use’ the Darwin coastline from the Nightcliff Jetty to Bullocky Point (Northern Territory, Australia).

The photographs that inform Peace were taken over a seven-day period during the wet season of 2006. They were captured within several hundred yards of the Chapman Street car park off Casuarina Drive when the car park and surrounding area’s purpose was absorbed and radically renewed by up to a dozen people who chose it as their home whilst visiting Darwin.

Crispy laundry and bedding hung from trees as smaller camps lay at both sides. Cars, wheelchairs, ghetto blasters and kids shared the drier asphalt. A temporary ‘living space’ was generated and firmly held by the ‘new arrivals’. They seemed unconcerned as constant traffic hummed through its heart and oblivious to bewildered but persistent ‘locals’ who stepped down from their vehicles onto new ground.

Peace is the final in the trilogy (Beautiful 2005, Ship of Fools 2004) that focuses on developing a deeper surveillance of the tired barricades between the non-indigenous and indigenous Australians who live in and visit the area along the Casuarina coastline. Whilst a static analysis of the vigorous unspoken conversations between bodies as the mind’s fixed perception on the purpose and order of things comes into play, it also attempts to advance into the heart of a seemingly insurmountable problem.