In our world today, culture and nature have never been further apart. Although we use topological Google maps and iphone GPS applications daily, it is these technologies that epitomise our disconnection with nature. The hustle and bustle of the nine to five, the constant connection to technology, the business of the “real world” has extracted us from our native environment. Us humans, so carried away with never-ending “progress”, have left the natural world in a dire state of crisis. Incompatible Elements by Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski at CCAS addresses this relationship between culture and nature. By digitally manipulating aerial landscape images of threatened landscapes, this collaborative team encourages us to consider our relationship to these places. Poetic words hidden amongst mountain ranges and winding waterways bring new perspectives to life concerning the relationship between culture and nature, brining us to question whether the two need be seen as separate? The phrase “ A Living Body” reveals itself in the dunes of the Coorong, an area that faces the harsh fate of drowning under rising sea levels. These words of Tom Trevorrow, a Ngarrindjeri elder and custodian of the Coorong remind us that a different nature-culture relationship can exist. We see nature as separate from our everyday cultural life but here, Starrs and Cmielewski project a relationship which melds them together.
Words Isabelle Morgan; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.