Seascape 1: colour

These color seascapes are of Encounter Bay on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. All the images of the southern ocean in the series were made early in the morning from Rosetta Head (Kongkengguwarr) using a Rolleiflex SL66 medium format camera, a Gitzo systematic tripod and Kodak Portra 160 ASA film. It’s a long term series.

The central reference point for the series is Gerhard Richter’s photo-realist Seestücks [Seascapes — especially Seestück (leicht bewölkt) Seascape (Slightly Cloudy) ] — Richter painted his first seascape in 1968 and he went on to compose many of the works in the years between 1968 and 1998 in different formats, colors, and styles. Some of these images were combinations from two different photographs – mixing and matching skies and seas until Richter found a good combination. The Seestücks are paintings constructed in a way that resembles photography.

The Richter series refers back to both the work of Caspar David Friedrich, the poster boy of 19th-century German romanticism, and to the French researcher and photographer Gustave Le Gray in the 19th century whose seascapes used one negative for the water and another negative for the sky.

The most notable Australian seascapes were those made by Frank Hurley whilst on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914. The Endurance became trapped in pack ice in the Weddell Sea and the men never landed on the Antarctic mainland.

The more recent seascapes are the seascapes by Jon Bodin (Victoria) and those by David Hume (South Australia).

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