2 Nov - 25 Nov 2007


MARK KIMBER | Moonrise on the Borderland
Artist Statement: Mark Kimber 2007

“The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” 1

With the edge of evening approaching the distant blue of the horizon began to deepen. Before me stretched a patch of land, well swamp actually, that in twenty years would sprout the cream brick and palm tree dotted, mock-Spanish villas of an up market housing estate. Now though it consisted of scattered pools of stagnant water, small, sparsely vegetated, low sand hills, and shallow ditches rimmed with encrusted salt. Through this ran a green and slimy trickle that was once a creek and before that a river.

These details however were slowly sinking beneath the blanket of twilight as it crept over the landscape towards me. Beyond the gathering dark the sparse lights of the suburbs shimmered to mark the point where the burbs stopped and the wasteland began. And at the point where the far off hills met the sky, the moon, almost full and speckled with cream, grey and white was lifting itself above the hilltops with a brightness that soon over powered the tiny flecks of the streetlights and the stars above them.

As evening pressed in, every minute that passed made me later and later for home and I faced two unpalatable choices; walk back along the creek from where I had come this afternoon or set out across the expanse of the now darkened, featureless sand and water in front of me. To back-track would mean adding another 45 minutes to my journey home and the certain wrath of my father; the way ahead, a mere ten minutes, while more enticing time-wise, meant a near-blind obstacle course where each footstep was filled with the unknown possibilities of encountering knee-deep clinging sludge, rusted barbed wire and the odd small and slithering, moving shape.

The moment, that’s what we all have been conditioned to avoid through distraction. Not living in the moment that surrounds us seems to be our common goal – be it through entertainment, TV, alcohol, drugs, anything that spares us the terror of experiencing the now, us and our place within and as a part of our immediate environment. But some moments are worth lingering within and the photographs we sometimes take seek to linger in that moment or a series of consecutive moments piled seamlessly on top of each other.

While I pondered my choices the moon and it’s attendant stars continued their celestial procession into the purple night sky that arched overhead. The distant lights of the houses and factories flickered in the last faint, shimmer of the day’s heat. The beauty and the mystery of all that surrounded me that night have stayed with me ever since. It remains a compelling force that guides me into finding situations where the play of light, form and landscape converge in time and space to create an elusive and ephemeral piece of theatre. The gap between, - the gulf that separates desire from contentment still there, the lights and the strip of darkness that isolated me from them even now, - enchanting and unbridgeable.

Mark Kimber 2007

 [1] Susan Sontag, in New York Review of Books