Exhibition dates: July 5 – July 28, 2012
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By day The Australian bush is a strange and mysterious place – both
idyllic and disorienting, it remains largely unfathomable to white
Australians. At night the bush becomes positively perilous. Dark
shapes leer out from all directions to a soundtrack of unidenti ed
noises, our senses strain to register our surroundings, and innocuous
shadows become the harbringers of hideous beasts and monsters. In concealing what is knowable and twisting what remains into new forms, the bush at night necessarily rouses the imagination to invent threats where there are none – especially in the mind of the child.
It is this imagined threat that underpins Janina Green’s new series ‘Be Home Before Dark’. Green leads us on a tour through Yallourn North, the scene of her youth. No rose-coloured trip down memory lane, the works instead explore the capacity for everyday objects and scenery to arouse an irrational sense of fear and dread. Green’s landscapes, as Naomie Sunner has noted perceptively, ‘do not refer to the landscape tradition but rather the psychological space induced within them’. The familiarity we sense within the works comes not from an evocation of place, but from their stirring of primal energies; thus they operate not as ‘landscapes’ but as ‘psycho-scapes’. While the works have their geographical basis in the La Trobe Valley, Gippsland, we could be any place at any time, lost within our memories of childhood. – Simon Gregg
The images from Be Home Before Dark were photographed on lm. Janina has retained and harnessed analogue photographic processes by hand printing the black and white images on large sheets of bre based paper, pushing the limits of silver gelatin printing. Another dimension has been added to the nishing process by toning the images with Pelican Foto- Lasurfabre dyes, exaggerating the dark elements of the silver gelatin blacks. The blue tones throughout the images amplify the eerie, cold, immersive atmosphere. These works salute the heritage of the handmade, from the physical immersion of the taking in of the scene, to the reliving and remaking of that lived experience on paper. This experience, though grounded in the accuracy of the indexical nature of photography, is still partly a memory and a sensation. The works are about sensation and how that colours the factual nature of the real.
Janina has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. Her work is represented in many public and private collections such as the National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria and the Rotterdam Art Foundation, Netherlands. She has been a recipient of grants such as the Australia Council Visual Arts Grant and nalist in many prestigious prizes such as and the 2011 CCP Documentary Photography Award. Janina is represented by M.33, who recently released the publication Blush, of her photographs from 1988- 2010.