Ashes Upon the Moon
might also have been named after the poem ‘On visiting a Taoist Master in the Tai-T’ien Mountains and not finding him’ by Li Po (AD 701-62). It is a common theme in early Chinese poetry to look for something and to not find it. Instead, meaning is created through engagement with your surroundings and the relationship of things in the natural landscape.

I travelled to Caoshan, Taiwan to look for a moon landscape and instead found a green and fertile scene. This was neither the moon nor the unknown landscape I had sought. In the absence of the moon these photographs capture the action of ash thrown into the air.  Ash is evocative of absence and embodies an encounter with the ineffable.

Chinese ink is traditionally made of carbon collected from the ashes of burnt pine trees. These images are a type of drawing, where the ash is to the landscape what ink is to paper. 




Click here to read exhibition review 'Subverting the Sublime: Wondermountain at Penrith Regional Gallery' by Luise Guest .