Artists: Sam Nightingale and Polly Stanton
April to 18 June 2017
Mildura Arts Centre, Australia
Spectral Ecologies is an exhibition of photography, sound and video that explores the landscape of the Mallee through the idea of the “cinematic”, asking how does cinema create a particular way of seeing? The artists, Sam Nightingale and Polly Stanton, take up this question by exploring the different ways that technologies enable us to see and to experience the landscape of the Mallee, the way specific narratives frame what we see, and the way that the land creates its own images. Working through the tracks and traces of the route taken by an early traveling picture show and responding to the inherent image-making capacity of the landscape, Nightingale and Stanton creatively map and imagine the Mallee…
Nightingale and Stanton have both made new work developed through research trips, public engagement and archival research. Stanton’s video, The Spectral Field (2017) includes the first ever drone footage of the Pink Lakes, salt lakes that are situated in the Murray Sunset National Park. The work explores the tension between a bird’s eye view and the experience of being immersed within the landscape. Nightingale’s multi-dimension work, Cinètracts (2017) also explores the cinematic through the twin experiences of looking at and being situated within the landscape. His work for Spectral Ecologies explores the Mallee through the history of cinema in the region. Nightingale enacts this history by travelling along the route taken by Nulty’s Pictures who operated a travelling cinema circuit from the 1930s to 50s transporting images and music across the Mallee (travelling in their truck, often with a local band of musicians to accompany the film). In his work Nightingale inhabits the image of that cinema history, by re-visiting and exploring the present day ecologies that occupy the sites the Nulty’s once visited.
Spectral Ecologies includes a series of public events in Ouyen and Robinvale organised in partnership with the Ouyen & District History and Genealogy Centre and Euston/Robinvale Historical Society, 7th, 8th and 9th April 2017.