The ground, the air is an exhibition by Anne Ferran of photography that uses sites and archives, archaeology and histories, to explore how the past haunts the present.
On display at Wollongong City Gallery from 21 March, this exhibition features 30 large-scale digital prints on aluminium which use historical Tasmanian sites to ask audiences to consider the notion of the landscape as witness and the effects of acts of forgetting.
For more than a decade Ferran’s practice has focused on overlooked and forgotten histories, particularly those concerning women and children, in institutions including prisons, asylums and aged care facilities.
The photographs in the ground, the air feature the site of a prison for women which was located in Ross, Tasmania, between 1847 – 1854. Seemingly benign images of undulating grass and earth are in fact all that remains of the prison, where conditions were extremely harsh for its inmates, and infant mortality rates were shockingly high.
Accompanying these works is a series of images of soft caps worn by women in Sydney’s Hyde Park Barracks. Floating in space, these white caps are empty, erasing the identity of the wearer in much the same way as history has erased the individual identities of the former inmates.
The ground, the air will be officially opened by Julie Ewington, Head of Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, on Saturday 21 March at 2pm.
The exhibition continues until 17 May.
Admission free, all welcome.