Winter has come to the coast of South Australia.
The balmy autumn weather has given away to rain, cold winds, and stormy conditions. We now wear rain jackets when we are walking the poodles. The change in the seasons has been quite abrupt and sudden.
The light is much softer now and it is easier to work with in the early morning:
The digital photographers are out in force around dusk in, and around, the Petrel Cove area. They look as if they come down to the coast of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula for the day. They work their DSLR’s on tripods and stay on the coastal path along the top of the cliffs. From what I can see as we walk past them, is that they are using their zoom lenses to photograph the breaking waves below them.They don’t venture down the cliffs, or get amongst, and explore, the coastal rocks.
Though I am interested in what people are seeing in this landscape/seascape, and how they are photographing it, I don’t stop and engage with them. It’s not really appropriate for me to do so as I’m on a walk and they are absorbed in their photography.
One example of how people see this coast is the work of Frédéric Mouchet, a French photographer who has retraced the steps of the 6 French expeditions in 18th-19th centuries –the most well known expedition is that of Nicolas Baudin Their exploration of Australia included the coastline of southern Australia around Kangaroo Island, Encounter Bay (Victor Harbor), Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight.
On board Baudin’s ship were the artists Charles Alexandre Lesuer and Nicolas-Martin Petit who painted and drew this coastline. Mouchet revisited the sites of the first landings and has published the book “The Australia of the French Explorers” co-written with Noelene Bloomfield.
Mouchet’s exhibition of the coastline of South Australia at the State Library of South Australia is a part of Creative France’s initiative in South Australia. This is part of a national initiative to foster new cultural connections, to show the strength and complexity of French culture’s presence in multicultural Australia and to rebrand France beyond the worn out cliche of stone farmhouses with vineyards and Paris only a train trip away.