HOURGLASS - a statement by Didi S. Gilson
As sand tumbles through the hourglass, Time conspires with an unforgiving
Nature. Man so loves her untamed beauty, her bounty, he seeks to become
a visual part of her wild panorama… leaving more than mere footprints in his wake.
The evidence of Man's intrusions into the visual landscape of Stockton Bight has
included the shipwrecked Sygna's stern which, although a tourist attraction since
1974, is gradually eroding close to shore.
Nearby, semi-permanent and held together by native plant life… the dynamic
dunes shift with the seasons. Sculpted via blowing winds, granule by granule, these
32 kilometres of magnificent mounds encompass the largest continuous mobile
coastal sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, a small community of squatter shacks,
nicknamed Tin City, was jury-rigged within those dunes. While today, in the
neighboring village of Anna Bay, there's a seeming fortress in the picturesque
battleground under construction behind perimeter fencing and (once open) aiming
to lure more outsiders in…
Will Nature ever reclaim all of her beleaguered territory? Or will developments
progressively intrude on the terra-not-so-firma? Perhaps, only Time will tell.
[This is a small selection from a larger ongoing project. Approaching the same
expanse over and over, my fresh gaze discovers recent transformations. I'm
documenting new compositions in the now as a record of what has been once and
is no longer identical, but somehow changed.]
Update 2014: After tradesmen walk-offs, a million dollars in payments gone wanting,
judicial court and, since the company went belly-up the "eyesore" is in receivership...
battle-scarred, with a FOR SALE sign erected while half-built, eroding, and in a sordid state
Update 2015/2016: I continue to photograph the abandoned work-in-progress, now inside the
"fenceline" using 6x7 format film as Nature reclaims... vandals and looters destroy.