by Les Walkling on April 1, 2015


Les Walkling, NORTH  2014, Pigment Inkjet Print 1512 x 1499mm

As a collective, we share a fascination with these far-away places, though not in the way that scientists are fascinated by things collected and identified, but rather, we are fascinated by the things we can’t see; our speculation and interaction, our wanderings and pondering.

And we are fascinated by their edges and boundaries: between solid and liquid, weight and weightlessness, hot and cool, wet and dry, between ourselves and the rest of the world, and that stain or residue that is at the heart of our troubled urban relationship with such far away places.

In rethinking environmental aesthetics and the role that works of art, especially photographs, can play in such debates, the time will hopefully come when we ask of any encounter, ‘not what does this say about us, but what does this say about our environment?’ For our problem is not so much how we appropriate or project country as an aesthetic object, our problem is how we index, moralise and politicise land use in a way that addresses the urgency surrounding our worryingly fragile relationship to land and landscape, place and belonging, rights and responsibilities, sovereignty and reconciliation.

At the very least we would hope to make pictures that acknowledge this struggle and dislocation, that point to what is possible or unlikely, and mimic a more general theory of habitation including the myths we incite, the paving we import, and the gate keeping we impose. Environmental injustice reinforces, indeed encourages concern for the fate of the earth. Our responsibility now is to act on such an awareness.

For what do we really know of these far away places? Very little except that they are remote and ancient; places of extremes, both climate and distance, culture and dislocation. What is important is what we discover about ourselves; our myths and prejudices, our presumptions and preoccupations. For we see only what we know, and we respect only what we understand.

Collaborative practice is also a way of working and thinking about what we do as visual artists where the profit derived from each other’s enthusiasm, research and practice is more than enough motivation to spend time together. Sharing resources in a resource rich world becomes a small stand against the excesses of our culture and its rummaging and vociferous ways, and provides a plausible alternative that allows us to tread a little lighter on this earth.

Our work is certainly compelling evidence of what can happen when a group, formed from diverse but supportive individuals secure enough in their own practice, decide to experiment with it. Where the importance of vision and imagination in changing minds, lives, and policy, is as important as in composing words, poems and pictures. At the very least we offer our sincerity, respect and acknowledgement, and hope that our endeavours will be viewed in this light.

But real change will happen only when we once again fall in love with this earth.

(This artist statement was presented at Maud Creative in Brisbane for the opening of our ND5 NORTH + EAST exhibitions which run from the 27 March to 26 April 2015.)

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2016 Shark Bay – Inscription

by Les Walkling on December 23, 2013

LW_Downcast_Eyes_2013Les Walkling, Downcast Eyes 2013, Pigment Print, 1498mm x 1512mm

2016 Shark Bay – Inscription is the latest body of work by Ninety Degrees Five (ND5), a unique collaboration between four photographers, Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Peter Eastway and filmmaker Michael Fletcher. Prior to this, ND5 worked on The Pilbara Project and South West Light.

Our work is an engagement with nature and culture as landscape, memory and myth. It seeks to support environmentality as a permanent concern for humanists, and to encourage and reinforce public concern for the fate of the earth, and our responsibility to act on that awareness.

Shark Bay, the first known Australian landfall of a European in 1616, also symbolises our settler culture’s glancing and uncertain relationship with this country and its physical environment, and the importance of vision, innovation and imagination in changing minds, lives, and policy, as well as in composing words and images.

Our inaugural 2016 Shark Bay – Inscription exhibition is in Perth from the 5th to 24th December 2013 at:

Linton and Kay Perth City Gallery
Level 1/137 St Georges Terrace,
Perth, WA 6000
Phone: (08) 6465 4314
Web: www.lintonandkay.com.au
Email: perth@lintonandkay.com.au

And in Brisbane from 8th February to 24th May 2014 at:

Maud Creative
6 Maud Street
Newstead, QLD 4005
Phone: ( 07) 3216 1727
Web: www.maud-creative.com
Email: maudcreative@maud-creative.com


In This Life – Virgil Donati

July 11, 2013

My dear friend Virgil Donati is about to release his new album, ‘In This Life’. It has been more than a year in the making and I contributed the album’s liner and track notes: IN THIS LIFE: In analyzing the relationship between music and narrative it is often supposed that meaning resembles a ghoul or [...]

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Shark Bay 2016

July 5, 2013

2016 – T Landt van d’Eendracht from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo. Shark Bay is a world heritage listed area, but the incredible biodiversity behind its world heritage status is not immediately visible, and therefore not immediately known nor understood by ‘outsiders’, at least not when viewed from the ground. Although our first trip to Shark [...]

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Q&A Evening with Dr Les Walkling

April 26, 2013

  Digital imaging should be simple and straightforward, but unfortunately this is rarely the case. Often the many resources on digital imaging can be confusing and a frustrating waste of time. This evening is an opportunity to have Dr Les Walkling answer your digital imaging questions. Les will begin the evening by discussing the three [...]

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South West Light – Sydney Presentation

March 14, 2013

ND5 – A photographers Perspective – ‘Come on…..really! are you serious?’ from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.   Ninety Degrees Five (ND5) is a unique artistic collaboration between photographers Les Walkling, Christian Fletcher, Peter Eastway, Tony Hewitt, and film maker Michael Fletcher. On Sunday 7th April all the members of ND5 will be presenting together for [...]

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South West Light – Melbourne Presentation

January 31, 2013

Stillness and Silence 2012,  Pigment Print,  1518mm x 1518mm Ninety Degrees Five (ND5) is a unique artistic collaboration between photographers Les Walkling, Christian Fletcher, Peter Eastway, Tony Hewitt, and film maker Michael Fletcher. On Sunday 17th February all the members of ND5 will be presenting together for the very first time on the East Coast [...]

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December 26, 2012

In-memorian 2012, Toned Silver Gelatin Print, 198mm x 249mm Bernie O’Regan 1938-1996 I often think of my grand mother during the last few years of her life, when she was gradually losing her memory. I would visit her in Adelaide, where she lived with my grandfather, and watch with absolute despair every time he entered [...]

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South West Light – A Photographer’s Perspective

September 8, 2012

South West Light – A Photographer’s Perspective from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo He has done it again! Michael Fletcher, our video guy has posted a short (6 minute) excerpt from his latest video ‘South West Light – A Photographer’s Perspective’. The finished 30 minute video will be first screened at our upcoming Ninety Degrees Five [...]

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August 7, 2012

Approaching storm 2000m, Pigment Print, 152cm x 152cm, 2012 Our modern DSLR cameras represent not a single device but numerous devices; cameras for everyone but no one in particular.  To the beginner these possibilities are camouflaged, indeed imprisoned behind the illusion of being able to be ‘wherever you want to be’ while the reality is [...]

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