Artist Statement 2015 Nikala Bourke Photography Major
“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos.
These images are camera-less photograms capturing the relationship between light, shadow and water. Collaborating with the environment of Browns River at night time, I interact with the water, imprinting the marks and forms made by the movement of fluid and sand onto photographic paper. Hand cut, photosensitised sheets are submerged into the water and exposed with light. The landscape a dark room, the water a negative. The dynamic aquatic forces are revealed in the chemical developing process of the dark room.
The large scale photograms are intended to persuade the audience to contemplate immersion within water, making a sensual connection with the 'experience of water materiality' (Susan Derges - British Photographer), with a direct relationship in scale to the body. The smaller light boxes illuminate the intricate detail and phenomenal activity that this process reveals, enabling a close up experience of the eloquent patterns made by nature itself. Infinitely complex and never ending patterns that repeat themselves across the universe on a microscopic to macroscopic spectrum.