The Fake Lake: Sydenham International

Ellen Dahl

28 Jun - 6 Jul 2024

Ellen Dahl’s expanded photographic practice is largely rooted in working with or around the landscape.

The concept of photography’s intrinsic involvement in how we see and feel about the world around us and its potential to engage new ways of assembling ecological meaning and geological imagination, drives my projects.

“I consider my practice as a three-way collaborative process between artist, the optics of the apparatus (for its unique ability to make incisions into time and space) and site. This process is reflected in the physical/material outcome of my final artworks.”

In the two-channel video work, Field Notes from the Edge/The Fake Lake (2023) Dahl explores the intersection between the still (stagnant) and the moving to reflect on the many ‘fake’ lakes and cut-off rivers systems supporting Tasmania’s hydroelectric energy industry – many of them scattered across the southwest Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. These large imposing grey concrete impoundments sit in stark contrast to perceived ideas of lush green ‘untouched’ wilderness. The colouring of these lakes is a natural occurrence derived from the tannin leaching out of the peat substrate that exists in these flooded sites, yet its dark appearance hints at a melancholic disequilibrium within the environment.

Closing event Saturday 6 July 3 – 5pm

81 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville, Sydney