Category 'Art'

[caption id="attachment_4516" align="alignright" width="121"] Thomas Petrie <3[/caption] Throughout the history of Moreton Bay there is one person who shines more than most, and that is Thomas Petrie. I read all I could about his life but I couldn't find the right story to portray for this project, mainly because he was so heavily involved with the Aboriginal communities and I'm unable to tell their stories without specific consent. Instead I went searching for locations that were important to him which still exist in a natural form today and that's when I found Sweeney Reserve and was immediately taken by its incredible trees. When I learned that it was once THE weekend destination for Brisbane residents I knew I had to include it in 'The Land and I' project which you can see at the 'Stories of Sweeney Reserve' page. I decided that I wanted to photograph a picnic scene as a throwback to the time when it was a popular picnic destination, by including as many picnic baskets as possible, but with no one around, to show the transience of recreational spaces. I studied what picnics looked like during the 1920s and set about collecting as many picnic baskets as I could from op shops and friends, as well as sheets, historical looking hats and crockery. It was a costly process. This image was my problem child and I ended up shooting it EIGHT TIMES. The first was to test what angle I should shoot it from. [caption id="attachment_4517" align="aligncenter" width="300"] My darling Koda, may she RIP.[/caption]   The second was to test if I'd have enough baskets.   The third was in my backyard to see how it would all look. [caption id="attachment_4519" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Say hi to Fudge who we were dog-sitting.[/caption]   The fourth was to test various spots at Sweeney Reserve to find the right location. [gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="4521,4520"]   The fifth was to shoot my chosen location thinking I could then photograph the picnic baskets at home and composite them together. But I decided during this shoot I'd need to photograph everything in the one place.   The sixth was on Anzac Day. I spent the evening before buying picnic food. I watched the overcast weather all morning and when I decided there was the perfect amount of cloud cover to diffuse the light my Mum and I drove to Sweeney Reserve to set up. Immediately the sun came out and refused to go away again. We set everything up and then I realised I'd left the food at home and had to go back and get it, leaving Mum stranded with a sea of picnic baskets for 40 minutes. We set up the food and waited and waited for the sun to go away. We were stared at A LOT. Despite all this, when I got home I decided the images were too busy and I'd need to shoot it again.   The seventh was in my backyard. I changed the shooting angle. Recreated the basket setting from my first image and waited patiently for the sun to dip behind the clouds. I decided to simplify the scene by using no food.   The eighth was during pouring rain when I had to go back to Sweeney's and find a less busy scene. I sat in the car and waited for the rain to stop and then ducked out and shot panoramas of my chosen areas as quickly as I could.   Then I spent weeks combining the baskets from the seventh shoot and the scene from the eighth into one final image. I was amused by these flying carpets as I added in extra baskets at the back.   The process was a pain as I had to cut out each picnic basket individually, replace the grass underneath which I cobbled together from many different shots, and then painted in shadows under each setting. I added the emu and kangaroo from different zoo photos and the rainbow was created within Photoshop. I spent even more weeks massaging the colour and then at the last minute decided to fade the edges to black and white to give it a historical aspect. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4514,4515"] As you can imagine I am really glad this one is over. The final image: sweeney reserve, sweeney's reserve, emu, dalaipi, kangaroo, picnic, rainbow, park, abandoned, history, travel, the land and i, fine art

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

Sweeney Reserve is a delightful park rich in cultural heritage tucked away behind Gympie and Dayboro Roads. Unless you’re a local you may not even know it was there. It’s an expansive reserve containing large shady trees and walking tracks that hug the North Pine River. This, along with the sizeable off leash dog-park, makes it a popular spot for dogs and their humans. But there’s something for all the family with electric BBQs and picnic tables, playgrounds, gym equipment, a basketball court, skate park, recreational lakes and plenty of river access for canoeing and fishing. The Petrie parkrun takes place here every Saturday from 7am with a 5km return course. The reserve also contains a koala habitat area maintained by Bushcare. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4576,4577,4574,4578"]   The parkland was first protected from habitation around 1862 when it was preserved for Government purposes and today its calm, sleepy atmosphere gives little indication of all that has taken place here to qualify it as a protected space in the Queensland Heritage Register. The North Pine River which weaves through the park was ‘discovered’ by Lieutenant John Oxley in 1823 while assessing the area as a potential site for a convict settlement. He rowed up the river guided by the well-known convict castaways Thomas Pamphlett and John Finnegan who he’d rescued from Bribie Island the day before. Oxley reported that the area surrounding the river was occupied by a large number of Aboriginal people. These Aboriginal people were from the North Pine Clan of the Turrbal people who used the area as a fishing hole. Around the 1840s an elder and rainmaker of the Turrbal clan, Dalaipi, was the custodian of several significant Indigenous sites including the Petrie Bora Ring, which was roughly located near Petrie’s roundabout, the ‘Mandin’ fishing hole witnessed by Oxley, and a rain-making site where the end of the rainbow is said to go down into the North Pine River indicating the presence of a precious stone. It was Dalaipi who, knowing Thomas Petrie as a friend to Aboriginal people, suggested the renowned pioneer choose land in the North Pine area to establish a cattle run, knowing that Petrie would ensure the protection of the sacred Indigenous sites. Petrie established a ford which became an important route for prospectors after the discovery of gold in Gympie and later as a route for Cobb and Co who used Thomas Petrie’s Murrumba Homestead as a coach stop. It was shortly after that the land now known as Sweeney Reserve was obtained by the government for the purposes of being a road and water reserve. The North Pine River played a crucial role in the area’s timber history as a means to transport logs to market as well as providing valuable softwoods. [caption id="attachment_4583" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Bullock teams carting pine logs to the rafting ground on the North Pine River, ca. 1890, photographed by Henry Gold. Image courtesy of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Image ID LHP710.[/caption]   In 1875 Edgar Foreman built a small school on the site of Sweeney Reserve because the main school was across the river making it difficult to reach at high tide. The teacher travelled between the school buildings by horse or boat. In 1877 a bridge was constructed over the river (next to the ford) forming part of the main road from Brisbane to Gympie. The support posts for this bridge are still visible in the North Pine River at low tide. This allowed the two schools to amalgamate and the second school building was then used as a meeting place and later a courthouse. When the railway opened in 1888 Sweeney Reserve, being an easy walk from the station, became a popular picnic spot, known for good fishing, rowing and swimming. It was also used as a rest spot for travelling stock. By the 1920s it was so regularly frequented that over 1000 people were counted attending the area each Sunday during the Christmas holidays. It was used for annual company picnics, school break-ups and swimming lessons and races. Occasionally a band played on Sundays. By 1924 the Government gazetted the land as a recreational reserve controlled by the Pine Shire Council. [caption id="attachment_4584" align="aligncenter" width="513"] North Pine River Reserve, 1923. Image courtesy of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Image ID P0775.[/caption] In 1926 Patrick Sweeney, after whom the area became known, took over operations of the local kiosk, selling refreshments and hiring out boats. The Sweeney family added bathing sheds, toilets, a slippery slide and tyre and rope swings. They lived on the site in a house made from wooden car crates and were known to keep kangaroos and emus as pets. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4579,4581"]   In 1927 Sweeney’s house was flooded and the kiosk swept away so both were moved to higher ground. Due to the ongoing cost of repairing the amenities destroyed by flood, Pine Rivers Council relinquished control and Sweeney was appointed caretaker of the reserve. The area was declared a sanctuary for the protection of birds and animals in 1929. With an increase of vehicle usage and improved roads, the destination declined in popularity by the 1950s with people preferring to visit the coast. The kiosk closed in 1960 when Sweeney was in his seventies but the Sweeney family continued to live in their house by the river until 1994 when the last family resident passed away and the house was demolished. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4571,4573"]   If you’d like to know more about the area’s history it’s included as part of the North Pine River Heritage Trail available here.

Inspiration for my Sweeney Reserve image - from the 'Land and I' series

I love the idea that Sweeney Reserve was once an incredibly popular picnic spot and is now a sleepy parkland. Tourism is a fickle beast which often sees us overlooking our own backyards for exotic destinations further afield. In this image I chose to use picnic baskets as a reminder of the park’s popularity for weekenders but I decided not to include any people to give an abandoned feel. The edges fade to black and white to portray the changing of times. I included a rainbow as a reference to Dalaipi’s rain making spot and both an emu and kangaroo lurking on the sidelines as an ode to Sweeney’s pets. sweeney reserve, sweeney's reserve, emu, dalaipi, kangaroo, picnic, rainbow, park, abandoned, history, travel, the land and i, fine art Learn how I created the feature image here.

I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Sweeney Reserve in the comments below so we can create a living history of this natural haven for future generations.

  Further reading: Tom Petrie's reminiscences of early Queensland by Constance Campbell Petrie Aboriginal pathways in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River by J.G. Steele – this text includes a map of the precise spot of Dalaipi’s rain making site Visit: Pine Rivers Heritage Museum North Pine Heritage Trail: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/uploadedFiles/moretonbay/discover/arts-culture/cultural-heart/North-PineHeritage-Trail.pdf http://www.northpinehistorical.com.au/projects/north-pine-heritage-trail/  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

It was an experience I had at Cedar Creek during an artist retreat that really inspired 'The Land and I' project so I decided to use it as my test location. If you haven't seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Cedar Creek' page. After researching the historical history of the Cedar Creek area I knew I wanted to portray the fertility of the region by covering a dress with flowers and scattering flowers around the rocks. I scoured all my nearby op shops and finally found a tattered wedding dress for $20. I have a supply of fake flowers I planned to pin to the dress but I noticed that if they didn't have distinguishable centres (like daisies) it was hard to tell what they were, so after spending more money on fake flowers than I care to mention I safety pinned flowers all over the dress as you can see in the time-lapse below. I created the headpiece by carefully pinning flowers to a hairnet.     [caption id="attachment_4200" align="aligncenter" width="960"]moreton bay, samford The dress[/caption]   I was unable to get permission from the land owners to access the Cedar Creek waterfalls and I wasn't prepared to cart this massive dress 20 minutes up the creek bed so I visited a number of times to find another spot to use, eventually settling for a small waterfall to the left of the private property gate. To get the right angle I had to climb down some tall rocks and rock hop over to the other bank which I must have done 40 times on shoot day! [caption id="attachment_4067" align="aligncenter" width="960"]cedar creek, samford, moreton bay Shoot location near last bridge - I was standing on the light grey rock in the middle, looking back at the waterfall[/caption]   None of this would have been possible as a self-portrait so I recruited a friend to model the dress but because I was about 20 metres from her and with the noise of a waterfall between us there was lots of yelling and hand signals to direct her poses. We shot between 3-5pm on a somewhat overcast weekday as weekends see an influx of visitors and I wanted as much privacy as possible. There was a small softbox with a Speedlite to the model's right just to spill some light onto her face. I shot long exposures to get the flowing waterfall, expanded the frame to show more of the scene, and replaced the background to include the creek bed extending into the distance. [gallery columns="2" size="large" link="none" ids="4203,4204,4206,4201"]   I took along some fabric to try and make the dress blend into the waterfall. samford, moreton bay   My mum kindly acted as assistant, stretching fabric, flicking hair and taking behind the scenes video. Model: Aliesha Kissener Assistant: Jennifer Roberts samford, moreton bay     The final image: cedar creek, samford, moreton bay, flowers, land and i, fine art, travel, history  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

Having worked there for three years, Bribie Island is close to my heart, and I've noticed how the local's faces light up when they talk about its history. It was impossible not to include Bribie Island as part of 'The Land and I' project since it has experienced such pivotal historical moments and once I'd learned of the uniqueness of Red Beach I knew I had my location. If you haven't seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Bribie Island' page at Visit Moreton Bay Region. [caption id="attachment_4485" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Red Beach[/caption]   Like many I was quite taken with the story of Bribie the Basket Maker and initially wanted to portray the convict with his Indigenous lover but was advised against it by the historical society who understandably are sick to death of the myth. As I was already pretty sold on the concept I decided to keep the idea but shift the focus to Thomas Welsby, the story's creator. I think the notion of this enduring myth having been hotly contested and written about excessively for generations is just a captivating as the original story itself. When studying the few existing photos of Welsby I realised he kind of looks like my dad, so that was my model sorted! We had to leave around 5am to make it to Bribie by sunrise so it's lucky my dad's an early riser (although not so lucky for me who needs my sleep). We walked for a few minutes in the dark to my chosen spot where I set up my camera and lights (which kept blowing over) while he shivered away in his secondhand suit. Thanks Dad. Eagles circled overhead to see what we were up to. [gallery size="large" ids="4488,4484,4486"]   I always envisioned the Welsby character writing the 'Bribie The Basket Maker' story in the sky with an oversized fountain pen because a normal sized pen would be too difficult to see. I tracked down a historical looking font for the the text which was a challenge to make fit in a pleasing way. The koala was added from shots taken at Australia Zoo as many believe Bribie's name actually came from the Indigenous word for koala, 'Boorabee' or 'Borobi' (which you may recognise from the 2018 Commonwealth Games' mascot) but this word originates from the Gold Coast region so no one is sure. The crab and basket are stock images and their significance is explained further in the main post.   It was very difficult for me to get any form of Indigenous approval for this project as none of the elders I reached out to responded, which meant I had to be very careful including any Indigenous content. I decided to show the couple strictly as small silhouettes which I created by finding stock images of an Aboriginal woman and colonial man and filling their shapes with black. I wanted to include other references to Indigenous culture of the time but could not do so without permission. The final image: [caption id="attachment_4483" align="aligncenter" width="960"]fine art, thomas welsby, bribie the basket maker, myth, koala, crab, red beach, skirmish point, history, travel, moreton bay, pumicestone passage, bribie island (Apologies as my website has a terrible habit of making images look fuzzy)[/caption]  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

 

I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Bribie Island in the comments below so we can create a living history of this beautiful place for future generations.

  For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit The Land and I project

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

I chose Lake Samsonvale as a subject for my 'The Land and I' project because the history of Samsonvale has virtually been erased by the creation of North Pine Dam so I wanted to pay homage to the community that one stood there by compositing houses rising from the water. If you've not seen the project already, please visit the 'Stories of Lake Samsonvale' page at Visit Moreton Bay Region. Lake Samsonvale provides a number of visitor areas so during my initial site recce I chose 'Tukuwompa Park' as the most picturesque to photograph. I came back one evening at sunset to photograph it as I wanted to use the symbolism of the 'sun setting on the community'. I visited a second time on an overcast day to capture images for the travel blog and figured I might as well shoot the scene again with moody clouds just so I had some options. I also took some panoramas at Bullocky Rest because, as it's the main visitor area, I figured it would also be the most recognisable. After much experimentation I ended up using the photos from Bullocky Rest in the final image because I liked the banks on either side. [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4455,4456"]   The houses were all photographed at Old Petrie Town as I really wanted to include authentic historical houses from around the region and felt it was important to include the few remaining houses that were moved from Samsonvale before the dam was built. It was extremely tough organising a time to shoot there as it's a very busy place, complicated by weeks of rain which continually hampered my plans. As the deadline loomed I decided to shoot at 6am on Good Friday. It was raining as we drove to Old Petrie Town but thankfully it eased for the few hours I was shooting and began again just as I finished. Thank you weather gods! Each house was photographed from the top of a ladder because I needed to get the angles right. Many thanks to my assistant, Mum, who is always a trooper in these situations. And also to Nicholas Dodd for his help providing background information on Old Petrie Town.   [gallery columns="2" size="large" ids="4457,4458"]   In Photoshop I stitched the panorama of Lake Samsonvale, cut out each of the houses and created their reflections, then added the fisherman, flying geese, trees and sunset sky. The colouring took weeks of experimentation to get right and I'm still not convinced (I even made three new colour variations today even though I "technically" finished this image weeks ago!). The final(ish) result:   history, samsonvale, moreton bay, lake samsonvale, north pine dam, radf  

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between theQueensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

 

 

I invite you to share your stories, photos and experiences of North Pine Dam and the Samsonvale community in the comments below so we can create a living history of this serene place for future generations.

  For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit The Land and I project

This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

22
Jun

How I created ‘Sweeney Reserve’

Throughout the history of Moreton Bay there is one person who shines more than most, and that is Thomas Petrie. I read all I could about his life but I couldn’t find the right story to portray for this project, mainly because he was so heavily involved with the Aboriginal communities and I’m unable to […]

22
Jun

The Stories of Sweeney Reserve – from ‘The Land and I’ project

Sweeney Reserve is a delightful park rich in cultural heritage tucked away behind Gympie and Dayboro Roads. Unless you’re a local you may not even know it was there. It’s an expansive reserve containing large shady trees and walking tracks that hug the North Pine River. This, along with the sizeable off leash dog-park, makes […]

16
Jun

How I created ‘Cedar Creek’

It was an experience I had at Cedar Creek during an artist retreat that really inspired ‘The Land and I’ project so I decided to use it as my test location. If you haven’t seen the project already, please visit the ‘Stories of Cedar Creek’ page. After researching the historical history of the Cedar Creek […]

13
May

How I created ‘Bribie Island’

Having worked there for three years, Bribie Island is close to my heart, and I’ve noticed how the local’s faces light up when they talk about its history. It was impossible not to include Bribie Island as part of ‘The Land and I’ project since it has experienced such pivotal historical moments and once I’d […]

13
May

The Stories of Bribie Island – from ‘The Land and I’ project

  I invite you to share your stories, images and experiences of Bribie Island in the comments below so we can create a living history of this beautiful place for future generations.   For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn more about this project visit […]

13
May

How I created ‘Lake Samsonvale’

I chose Lake Samsonvale as a subject for my ‘The Land and I’ project because the history of Samsonvale has virtually been erased by the creation of North Pine Dam so I wanted to pay homage to the community that one stood there by compositing houses rising from the water. If you’ve not seen the project […]

8
May

The Stories of Lake Samsonvale – from ‘The Land and I’ project

  I invite you to share your stories, photos and experiences of North Pine Dam and the Samsonvale community in the comments below so we can create a living history of this serene place for future generations.   For more information please see the related blog post at Visit Moreton Bay Region Or to learn […]