Annette Hamilton's Image Field

Photographs from a never-still life


Green river 1
Hawkesbury River, eastern shore upstream from Peat Island

Shapes and shadows, reflections, shining light, dappled skies. Red and yellow cliffs, glittering brightness under a summer sun, a monochrome mirror on a fading winter day. First impressions of the world came to me from the Hawkesbury River as my father steered the old inboard motorboat Quiet Life upstream from Brooklyn, put-putting along through the deep green water, sometimes rough and choppy, grey with sky. The desire to capture and re-visit this ancient landscape has never left me. Photography, writing and painting have engaged me in nostalgia for preservation and continuity.

The lower Hawkesbury is an amazing place. Just a little over an hour from Sydney, here are isolated communities with roots in the nineteenth century, with no roads, no supplied water, no town facilities. Each community has its own rhythms and rules. Some have their own identities and flags with mottos, and know themselves, ironically, as democratic republics. These communities must look after their own laws and help each other survive through bushfires, floods and occasional outbursts of wild behaviour.

You can never take enough photographs. I have taken photographs of the same outlook, through the changing seasons, year after year, for as long as I can remember. I have collected old photographs of my family and preserved copies of them, although all the original negatives are long gone and many of the people in them are no longer remembered.

The photograph is not only an image reproducible through modern technology but a key element in the way contemporary humans experience the world, a world we have created through manipulation of images. “Nature”, whether it exists or not in a philosophical sense, presents itself to view, through the view-finder. I love old-fashioned black and white photographs printed on heavy paper but the quick snap from the I-Phone has its own glories.

Photography and painting are deeply entwined. Some images will also be posted on my art-writing siteĀ here.

If the Hawkesbury River is the origin-place of my photographs, there are many others taken from journeys over the years in Australia and around the world. I am in the process of creating a portfolio in Flickr and ongoing images will turn up on my Instagram site. This site is a place to develop ideas about my photographic histories and play with ideas.

New direction: check out my Instagram site:

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