~ BOUND ~
From My Father's Boat
Kodachrome photograph of myself taken by my Father
Maxwell Provest in 1957 at
THE CAPTAIN COOK 'LANDED HERE' MONUMENT
Kurnell, New South Wales. Australia
Located on the Southern shore of Botany Bay.
In the above photograph taken by my Father I'm looking posed - looking positioned while looking at the
The Captain Cook Monument.
In 1991, I returned to this monument and began to contemplate this and to research the area. Botany Bay is geographically wide, rather shallow, and many areas are 'out of BOUNDS' to the land or sea based observer. The dock areas at Port Botany are marked 'RESTRICTED AREA' and a circular area around Philip Bay is marked “PROHIBITED QUARANTINE AREA'. These demarcations appear in map and actual signage form in the Bay itself.
A third Sydney International Airport runway was under construction, protruding into the bay - a political 'hot potato'- with its ramifications of aesthetic blight, ecological damage and the issues of increasing aircraft exhaust and noise.
The viewpoint I chose was from a boat. Importantly, to contemplate the viewpoint of both the aboriginals whilst out on the bay and that of Cooks and crew in 1770. Also I had the intention of documenting the aboriginal bush, the colonised shore, the various phases of settlement and industrialisation, the degrees of exploitation, abuse and beauty as well. I chose a democratic approach in making photographs of the shoreline and Bay.
Paul Carter comments on these elements
"Redefining the boundary as the place of communicated difference, rather than as a veil or barrier to knowledge, has the decided advantage of corresponding to the behaviour of the Aborigines themselves. For it appears reasonably clear from the anthropological literature that, to speak very generally, the aborigines recognise boundaries or, rather, decisive differences. But, it is equally true that they are rarely able to say precisely where boundaries lie.
Boundaries are, indeed debatable places : not just zones of uncertainty, but places where inter-tribal communication can occur in a controlled way"
Carter, P 1987. The Road to Botany Bay University of Chicago Press, Chicago, P 163
I found the experience unpredictable -beautiful - fearful, somehow the distance (from the shore)- provided some un-resolved clarity for further contemplation/s.
'...and on the land-sea metaphor - Its power to figure forth the nature of the explorers experience lay, in fact, in its very lack of originality. From Homer onwards, the metaphorical intercourse of land and sea has been conventional. But the likeness in difference felt in contemplating the sea as land like, and the land as sea-like, goes deeper than this. It is rooted phenomenologically in our most primitive sensations of earth and water and their common heritage in the wind filled sky. If at times the sea promises an ease of passage impossible on land, at other times it seems disastrously flat, depressed, pointless '
Carter, P 1987. The Road to Botany Bay, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, P 92.
'...so there's a subtext to this work: a meditation on paternity; on different kinds of paternity'.
Terrence Maloon. ( Extract interview with Provest 1993 )