As the world turns and the Milky Way reveals its magnificence, calmness and connection can be found ‘on country’ away from the towns within in the vast deserts of Central Australia. In strange times, like when we are required to physically isolate to slow the spread of infection, Lyalthe is a place to be.
Nature can steady and ground us. And photography be a form of meditation. This is an onto-poetic response to place and feelings. Rather than a camera hunting images, it seems as if waters, land, creatures choose to flow into frame. Country offers up a little of its story to the camera thus you the viewer.
This video is contemplative; akin to the ‘slow cinema’ genre which “opts for ambient noises or field recordings rather than bombastic sound design, embraces subdued visual schemes that require the viewer’s eye to do more work, and evokes a sense of mystery that springs from the landscapes and local customs … The genre has been described as an act of organized resistance” (Wikipedia on slow cinema).
This is the first production I made after a dear colleague and friend, David Nixon, passed away. As two film-makers, Jaralji Films was our collective. I didn’t set out to make a video poem, it created itself then improved through the link with local musician, Ruth Apelt. She reads this poem of place and brings her sensibility and professionalism to it too. The vocal recording and editing of this video poem was an enjoyable and rewarding collaboration between us.
Dr Fiona Walsh has a PhD in Botany and Anthropology. Her science degree was in Zoology. She has worked for Australian indigenous people for 37 years. She has always used photographs as a cross-cultural communication media. Ten years ago, Fiona began to learn documentary film-making. Fiona and colleagues have made more than twenty short and long form documen-taries; some have screened on national television. Fiona has lived in remote arid Australia for decades.