Jane Burton: The Sunken Garden (Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Art Gallery of Ballarat)

24 August - 27 October 2019

This new suite of photographs depicts a landscape of the Central Highlands region beyond Ballarat that was shown to the artist by a friend. This is not the kind of place found by the roadside, but a hidden place that one must walk into for some distance, crossing a kind of psychic threshold. Inside, by a vast reservoir of water, dead trees once submerged now surface due to drought, their limbs like bones worn clean by the elements. It felt like standing in a cemetery, where once great trees had perished in stricken and mournful postures. The experience provoked the sensation of having passed into a mythical underworld, into a realm between earth and water and sky. In this landscape , one experiences that state of the sublime, where senses and imagination are awakened to the beauty, terror and wonder of nature. Feelings of exaltation and euphoria experienced at the very same time as feelings of deep melancholy and longing.