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Re-presentations are always more than mimetic; they embody personal psychologies (aesthetics/archetypes and perhaps, remnants of the collective unconscious) Are these the  ‘places’ where the liminal nature of self is held and caught – embodied in communicable form, uttering directly to the viewer. These dredgings from underwater / on the flux line / reflected on the moving surface of water, are both metaphoric and real, straight but made strange by perspective.


The liminal is a mysterious space much like the body, with similar associated fascinations and fears. On a metaphoric level Fear of the Deep and Fear of the Body trigger the same visceral reactions, they are places where psychological shadows lurk, an opportunities exist to engage the Other.


Navigating time, light and space, using still and video cameras and HD sound recording equipment, often at night, the images employ a poetic visual language with the intention of moving between the real and sur-real. The movement of the carrying vessel is both linear directed by intent through space, and unpredictable; caught in the natural flux of tide and swell. While the photograph records light and captures time, here the quality is timeless, catching only the natural world in image, but the sound is a layering of organic with mechanical thereby reconciling "maternal" time with linear time (Kristeva). In this sense also, the kayak/boat/vessel becomes an elliptical portal between there realities – both an ancient vessel and transportation vehicle for exploration, and an embodied symbol (archetype: portal/doorway/birth canal) (Medvedev-Mead). Peering below the waterline is akin to entering an Other space, an unremembered realm - familiar and potent.


It was a childhood ritual to go flounder hunting with my father on Saturday nights in Tasmania. Using underwater spotlights, the world opened up as we explored the waterways – clear water, clean white sands, fish, crustaceans, octopus, squid even sea dragons at times … then there were the long returns through the country by car headlight after a long Sunday drive – glimpses of trees, country, frogs in the rain, possums in verge hedges, Next, then photograph of a pink tee shirt in a rock pool at sunset at Angourie  in 1980 and the late night wanderings with camera flash and slide film in Low Head over the following years. I’ve had an ongoing fascination with the creation of what I call ‘atmospheric fallacies’ –  bringing back (imaginary) immersive spaces to share with others.


The work of Bill Viola was a powerful influence, conjuring the magic of water-filtered light and slowed sound, engaging the senses while exploring metaphysics and symbol. The haunting work Swell, by Patricia Piccinini also had a sharp impact on my thinking about art making, suggesting possible ways to explore notions of the real and the non-real in video works. Paralleling my photographic practice, I have also worked with drawing; internal landscapes of the body. The symbols of bones have appeared through my work over decades and the work of Linde Ivemey contains resounding elements of my personal aesthetic in relation to the body.

Alana Hampton

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