Jane Brown's series Australian Gothic takes its cue from the gothic imaginings of colonial Australia. We see images of a convict past, the bush Christmas, unforgiving landscapes and woebegone hotels. 'Bleak Australiana' where the tropes of gothic literature - the melancholic and the uncanny- articulate the colonial unease. Australian Gothic manifests itself in rural isolation – where the homely becomes unhomely (or unheimlich) and where nature is out of kilter.
The series is photographed with film and printed by the artist in her Melbourne darkroom. Brown considers that the analog process is important to the understanding of the work: 'Printing with chemistry and using light sensitive paper has been such an important part of photomechanical history. Perhaps we will be the last generation to work with the medium in this way? It’s a thought that somewhat haunts all my work – a feeling of loss and change: a liminal world that’s on the threshold of change. '
The video brings together Jane Brown's photographic series, Australian Gothic, with the evocative musical score NOVUM by New York based, composer, Kitty Xiao. soundcloud.com/kitty-xiao/novum. On seeing Australian Gothic exhibited in Melbourne, Xiao took inspiration from Bushfire Landscape II, Lake Mountain Victoria to compose this original piece.
[Jane Brown is an award-winning artist and professional photographer. She was born in Kuwait and emigrated to Australia as a child. In 2013 she was recognized with the Art and Australia/Credit Suisse Contemporary Art Award. Her work is represented in Australia's National collections including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.]