Over the course of the summer, Houghton set off to explore the deep-rooted connections of Australians’ to the landscape they call home. Weaving her way across the country, she spent five weeks working out of a make shift studio in the back of her car and spent her nights camping in a tent, in the country’s national parks.
Covering a total of 10,500 km, she collected scattered stories and imprinted memories strewn over the landscape. She gained a deeper understanding of the Country’s past and of the Aboriginals’ deep-rooted connection to the land that has been their home for thousands of years. What emerged were two conflicting devotions to the Landscape; that of the Indigenous sacred connection to the land and the modern Australians commercialisation of space through land tourism. Despite the tenuous past of the nation, there is a shared love of the land, both past and present.
Giving no weight to any one persons, physical representations of individuals she encountered were removed. The stories that were shared are represented through the landscape in which they were created. The resulting body of work is a homage to the Indigenous peoples of Australia. A collection of landscapes and still-lifes, stories and natural interventions that explore human experience through listening to the language of the Australian landscape.
Tanya Houghton (b. 1985) is a social documentary photographer based in London. Coming from a background of sociology, she completed her MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University.
Her work examines the details within the everyday, unearthing the unexpected within the familiar. It is the desire to collect and compare such details that motivates her work. She combines traditional landscape and portrait photography with conceptual still life images created from objects in the spaces she explores. Her practice focuses on themes of ecology and memory exploring the tension between the urban and the rural.
Her work has been recognised by the British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Award, D&AD Global Next Photographer and has been exhibited at Organ Vida Festival, Reclaim Photography Festival and Urban Photo Festival.