Waterworld is a statement referenced to the worlds polluted waterways, and intends to prompt us to consider the moral and environmental consequences of mangrove habitat loss, continued fouling of the worlds oceans and rivers and the consequences of climate change. I attempt to offer visual allegory to drive the message that humanity could end up in a lawless, much depleted terrifying world if we continue on our current trajectory of environmental destruction and dismiss scientific warnings of climate change and the dire consequences of global warming.

By focusing my lens on Malaysian and Thai coastal mangrove forests, wetlands, shrimping farms, industrial coastal wasteland, beaches and river estuaries, I find elements within these environments which I believe create the illusion we are peering into an imaginary, almost pagan world. One far removed from our technologically advanced age.  A world where ungodly inhabitants/pagan tribes, constantly wander within this liquid morass in search of dry land, for a better quality of life. Due to the scarcity of resources, life is a constant struggle.  And quite often violent.  To give them hope they create deities and worship false Gods.

To create this visual allegory I purposely photographed; natural organic anomalies I found within the mangrove plant and tree roots systems, the inorganic blight and global pandemic of discarded plastic waste that is discharged annually into our rivers and seas.  And I attempt to point our attention towards the more ominous ramifications of the shrimping industry; namely the destruction of mangrove forests for pond construction and the contamination of the adjacent waterways from chemical discharge associated with shrimp excrement and antibiotics/anti bacterial chemistry.
"The beauty and genius of a work of art may be re-conceived, though its first material expression bedestroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again." William Beebe. (American naturalist, ornithologist, marine biologist-

The Subject. Photography still life series of marine specimens that were identified, jarred and labelled in the mid 20th Century, from the 1930's through to the late 1970's in Nha Trang, Vietnam. They constitute part of the collection of the Nha Trang Oceanographic museum, and are partly on display to the public (albeit from behind a cordon)

Why this series? These dusty and aging bottles & tanks containing marine specimens from oceans and seas of a different time and era fascinate me for a multitude of reasons; my already established interest in the natural world, natural history, marine biology, and my attraction to the aesthetics & fundamentals of form. Photographing these 'forms within forms' does result I think already in a highly decorative collection of imagery, but it is the aura of antiquity and glimpses into the past they offer that makes the series even more compelling. Added to this, a look at the optical aspects of glass and how over time, living matter, no matter how carefully embalmed or preserved changes and takes on almost another form altogether.

Methodology! I had to work immediately, there in situ, with no pretense of additional lighting. I felt an immediate need to photograph these glass repositories, which while having languished for decades on dusty shelves, and all having a distinctly neglected look, I felt for some bizarre reason, as with the delicate nature of glass, they could be gone if I waited another day. (The fragility/impermanence & durability of glass too that are themes represented in this series). Additional unknowns like officialdom or internal decisions to replace or even remove the collection added to my sense of urgency. The work is therefore a spontaneous look at these Darwinian sculptures, captured by the camera in an honest and direct way, unfettered by enhanced lighting techniques or retouching tricks.
'In 2013 I decided to leave the frenetic traffic clogged flatland madness of Saigon, for the more subdued nature of Vung Tau, a nearby small coastal town abutting the South China sea and tucked up against forested hills.

For a year, I rented a room in a small hotel that faced the sea out front and behind ran a narrow lane that climbed gradually up and away from the ramshackle houses into a jungle clad bluff. The setting for my daily keep fit regimen, for after a brisk walk up the tarmacadam path that gave way to loose gravel eventually to a dirt track, and then finally a grassy ridge deep in the treeline, this tranquil and secluded spot afforded me wonderful views of the jade waters of the South China Sea and was the perfect setting for my yoga routine.

I began to walk this pathway daily both dawn and dusk, just 2 kilometers from bottom to top and back again, but I so relished the peace and quiet afforded at the high point of this short hike, I needed those two daily visits. For up there it felt heavenly, down below, noisy, chaotic. Dare I say, hellish!

As the days progressed I began to think of Dante's Purgatorio, and see the path, this short journey from top to bottom as visual allegory, not unlike Dante's seven terraces! Earthly paradise at the top, a kind of purgatory at the bottom. The more I walked the path the more it felt natural to think of it this way.

Certainly at the summit, it felt heavenly. The flame trees in blossom, the call of birds, butterflies on the wing mid morning, fireflies on the wing at dusk. Pristine, whimsical, untrammeled. Dare I say sublime. I could look around and imagine a world before mankind exerted his toll.

Then as I proceeded downhill, the first signs of mankind appeared just as the grassy path gave way to gravel. I would hear the bark of a dog, and then perhaps a little later the chime of a monk's gong well before I actually caught site of the Taoist temple set back in among the trees. Up here in the higher reaches it seemed humanity still held a certain reverence for nature. For the simple life.

As I descended further down, now to the gravel section of the path, things began to change. High walls erected. Golden ornate gates locked. Man claiming ownership of the land? Barring entry. Asserting his assumption that what he contains, he owns. Litter began to infuse the grasses and hedgerows. Yet further still, discarded syringes in the tree line, suggesting heroine addiction. Further down idle human banter! Giggles, guffaws, staccato voices, shouts, cries, screams. Finally at the base of the hill I would be shaken back into the 21st century by the rumble of traffic and blaze of neon lights. Alas man in giddy mode. Reveling in artificial lights. Concrete. Temptation. Gluttony. Animals caged for entertainment. Covetous indulgence. Overkill. Destruction'.

I realize re-reading this statement above that my intentions are only partly fulfilled both in these words and the idea and images can be construed as simplistic. Possibly simplistic is apt and relevant. I simply walked the path with a camera, allowed linearity, from summer to winter and back again, up and down the hill, back and forth, (and visited just one or two locations away from the path to give me the chance to shoot one or two important narrative pictures such as the monkey in a cage or fenced deer) and through mere observation developed the series of images which I hope seen collectively here will resonate. Resonate aesthetically. Resonate emotively. Resonate incompletely.

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