“In 2014 I embarked on a mission to study and record the enormous amount of change and variety that occurs on a daily basis off the coast of Sydney. The huge sandstone cliffs that defend much of Sydney from the ocean, provide the perfect platform to view this wilderness. Like gazing over a giant fence, staring out into a vast empty space, it’s hard to believe there are over 4 million people behind you.
“Before this project, I used to look at a weather forecast and all I hoped for were blue skies. Blue skies are now the thing I dread the most.
“Storms from the south west, big seas and rain from the south east, wind patterns on the water from a strong westerly, or fog as the land temperatures drop faster than the ocean, each month has its own nuances, not just with the weather but also the quality of light. Unlike other landscapes where light falls on structure and illuminates its features,here there is no solid structure, just water, air and sun (or fire). So in its basic form I’m just photographing the elements and how they interact with each other.
“The amount of moisture in the air, the strength of the wind, the height of the clouds and how they are layered, are all part of what makes every minute so different. It only takes a small break in one layer and for a split second everything changes. Like the sky it reflects, the sea is constantly changing with the light and as the wind textures the surface to alter the angle of reflection.
“I watch and try to predict what is about to happen but clouds at different levels can move at different speeds and in different directions, so what you think is about to happen usually doesn’t.
“I always felt I was waiting for something to happen but it took time to realise I was searching for a balance, some symmetry or order amongst the chaos – to make it work when I froze a small scene from it.
“The one tangible feature throughout this series is the horizon. In this continually changing landscape it anchors every scene and provides a solid point of focus like a mountain range or a skyline.
“And yet, as the first explorers discovered, the horizon is none of these things.” – Kerry Wilson
Kerry Wilson, Horizon 2014-2016, Backstage Gallery, Crown Lane (rear 99 Crown Street), East Sydney, Open every day 11.00am – 6.00pm until 14 May. Artist talk 13 May at 7.00 pm.
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