This paper will detail the conception of landscapes that consume, breathe and reproduce - visually and audibly - so that these typically hidden botanical events can be experienced as a series of cinematic artworks by artist Merri Randell. The cinematic nature of Randell’s work playfully challenges enduring colonial Australian cinematic landscape myths which demonise the Australian landscape such as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ (Weir 1975) where the rock has been accused of seducing and consuming the missing school girls - rendering the landscape not only the crime scene but murderer and carnivorous predator. The discussion around non-indigenous cinematic myths of the Australian landscape are introduced through a contextual discussion based on theories from Australian writers Ross Gibson, Robin Wright and Kirsty Duncanson about the landscapes presented in ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ (Weir 1975) and ‘Long Weekend’ (Eggleston 1978). This discussion is further contextualised through a discussion of the representation of landscape in post-Mabo cinematic myths; ‘Mister Chuck’ by indigenous director Tracey Moffatt (beDevil 1993); ‘Lantana’
(Lawrence 2001) and ‘Van Diemen's Land’ (auf der Heide 2009).
I am an artist from regional Australia and my cinematic artworks have been finalists in five national art awards. I celebrate diversity by creating worlds full of beautiful, hybrid monstrosities that seduce, beguile and disturb. My current artworks are a playful exploration of non-indigenous cinematic landscape myths. These artworks interrogate non-indigenous Australian’s largely unconsummated desire to understand and unite with an intolerant and sometimes vengeful landscape. Working in distorted realities, I combine hyper-real photography of post-colonial Australian forests and swamps with consumptive sound and uncanny motion to conceive compulsive but immersive cinematic artworks. Future projects seek to explore notions of my Australian Maori identity through interpretations of the New Zealand/Aotearoa landscape.