Altered States explores Australian identity and our changing relationship with our environment through photographs of the Australian Landscape which have been modified by the hand of the artist. By adjusting the expected vista, with the addition of foreign objects, figures or projections, these artists cause us to look twice at their works and question the land we inhabit and how we relate to it, now and throughout history.
Both Tamara Dean and Nicole Welch are based in regional New South Wales, immersing themselves in nature personally and professionally. The artists dedicate themselves to finding an ideal location and crafting the setting for their shoots, devoting many hours and thousands of shots to capture a single perfect image.
Neither artist likes to rely on digital manipulation to achieve the evocative photographs for which they are known. Nature dictates their shoots, which are booked well in advance of weather forecasts. They will work with the conditions of the day, adapting their shoot to allow for unpredictable climatic effects such as snow, fog and rain. This results in strong and complex images which capture the true essence and atmosphere of a place at a specific time.
In bringing these two artists together for the first time in a major survey show, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery is encouraging its audience to see not just the beauty of the finished work, but also the vision and dedication that goes into each of the images included in this exhibition.