Still Life in Landscape II – Relics, Cathedral Rocks, NSW, investigates the permanency of recent disused artefacts of technology, their physical presence as objects and their unnatural resonance with the environment. These modern “relics” are placed within the ancient volcanic “Cathedral Rocks”, surrounded by hundreds of intersecting lines of eroded joints. The photographs hence re-contextualize physical objects of technology, in order to reconstruct meaning and investigate their significance through metaphor.
Relics I and II show an LED “billboard” which is no longer viable, a messenger who cannot transcribe the message. No longer able to communicate through digital signal, it has become a siren, beaconing lost communication, and digital dependency.
Relic III shows the lens from a 16mm Bolex film camera. The camera having been superseded by video, its lenses remain interesting artefacts in their own right. They represent superb craftsmanship and technical refinement, and yet ultimate redundancy.
Relic IV shows a trail of 70 mobile phones in snake like formation following the contours of the rock face. In direct contrast to the natural surrounds, they create an unlikely symmetry with their environment. As a result, they appear to have greater questioning purpose as an (analogue) sculptural object and metaphor than in their prescribed usage for communication.
Relic V shows a bottle containing streaming videotape which has been dismembered from its original container and placed alongside other “keys” - a metaphor for inherent obsolescence, a message which has arrived without the prescribed messenger of technology to transcribe its contents.
Heather Fernon is a photomedia artist who studied b & w fine art photography at the Australian Centre for Photography in 1989. In 1996 she completed an MA (Media Arts) at RMIT and currently works in Sydney. Her work has been shown extensively in Australia, UK and United States. It was included in SIGGRAPH Orlando 1994 and Los Angeles 1995.
Her first series, Still Life in Landscape I (2008) – Forbidden Fruit, counterpoints the traditional elegance of still life photography (placing cloved fruit, toffee apples and cherries) with vibrant landscapes of earth, sky, and water.
Still Life in Landscape II (2011) investigates the inherent obsolescence of modern (digital) technology within the backdrop of ancient landscapes, questioning the physical design of man made objectives, the ramifications of short term obsolescence and resultant (analogue based) metaphors.