LAND SEA YOU ME Book (SOLD Out)
The LAND SEA YOU ME book is a multi award-winning historic photographic journal of South Australia in 2016, divided into landscapes, oceanscapes and portraits. It is both a photographic and written essay on a remarkable part of the world and the resilience of its people.
-First edition limited to 400 copies
-Signed and numbered
-Designed by Voice, one of Australia's leading design studios
-Foreword by Mark Kimber
-Printed and made in South Australia
-Printed carbon neutral
LAND SEA YOU ME Book Awards for Voice of Design
2017 | AGDA Awards Book Design, PINNACLE
2017 | AGDA Awards Book Design, Judge’s Choice
2017 | AGDA Awards Catalogues & Brochures - Distinction.
2017 | Type Directors Club, Typographic Excellence New York, USA
Stony Rise 37°11'13.3"S 139°45'17.3"E
I'm in my tent. I've been here for the past hundred and ten-odd nights, give or take a few in mates’ vans, motel beds, hostels or bus. It's not raining yet but I've kept an eye on the radar and I'm expecting it to come down and come down hard. The wind is predicted to hit around 3AM, but for now it's still. I'm alone; I haven't seen anyone else camped in the entire National Park for the two nights I've been here. A few 4WDs have passed the tent over that time, but only to check the surf further down the rutted road. It's pitch dark, no moon, I'm only a few kilometres out of town, but I still feel isolated. My only way in and out of where I am is by bike. There's a storm on the horizon and I've got a feeling this is going to be a belter.
Only five months earlier this would have been a dream to shoot. Warm night, no rain, stunning landscape only a few minutes ride down the track, not a soul around and a very active lightning storm marching towards my camp. Tonight however, I'm staying put in the warm embrace of the tent, trying to occupy my mind with episodes of No Such Thing as a Fish (my go-to podcast when everything is going wrong). I've eaten dinner, called to wish the girls goodnight and slid into my sleeping bag.
The tent lights up; no thunder yet as the storm front is still a way off. It lights up again, an irregular strobe light. My surroundings are bathed in orange every time a bolt tears through the night sky, the white light filtered through the amber of my tent's fly. The thunder now begins, a distant rumble. I check the radar on my phone once again and emerge to take in the night air. The strobe now begins in earnest; the horizon is lighting up all around me — it's a monster storm and moving very slowly. The thunder is guttural and no longer distant. Strikes are immediately followed by rolling cracks, echoing around the landscape. The birds are awake now too. There is an uneasiness in my body that I'm unable to shake and the sporadic firing up of the land isn't helping. My breath is fast, my body is exhausted, my nerves are a little frayed. I'm craving fresh food and I'm missing my girls desperately. I've been on the road almost five months now and I've endured the worst winter weather in living memory. I'm no longer looking forward to storms, but rather a good night's sleep and a tail wind to the finish line. I climb back into the tent and once again zip myself in. The air is thick; the storm is finally here. I curl up on my camping mat — I'm in for a long night.
I passed a Uniting Church weeks earlier at Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula, its sign out the front reading WHOEVER IS PRAYING FOR RAIN PLEASE STOP! It hadn't worked. The rain began to come down, the ground quickly soaked, smells of damp earth permeated the tent. The front began to show its teeth, lightning, thunder, rain. I was now reassured that I had made the right decision to sit this storm out, as hard as that decision had been. The front kicked, and kicked again but still no wind. It had more to give yet, hours more it turned out, slowly creeping its way along the coast. The shadows on my tent which just hours earlier had been comforting outlines of the Australian bush became more and more ominous with every lightning strike, gnarled hands waving at me, grating nails sliding down the side of my tent. The wind arrived as predicted on the stroke of 3AM, announcing its arrival with a scream, just as the lightning and thunder began to abate. There would be no sleep tonight. The walls of my tent began to warp, the ground beneath me was now soaked and the sound of the ocean became increasingly menacing and seemingly closer. The finish line was only 197 kilometres away.
I recorded the sounds from that night on my audio recorder. Listening back now you can hear on one grab something in my voice akin to burnout, accompanied by the constant drum of the rain. On a second sound byte, perhaps an hour later, I switched the recorder back on, this time to capture the wind which had blown a crescendo, the recording shuts down with my voice saying 'over it.' I'd nearly reached the end of my journey and apparently the end of endurance. The closer I got to the finish line, the harder it became. My partner Myf was twelve weeks pregnant and alone with our two-year-old daughter. I was so close to home and my girls.
I sit here three weeks later in front of my computer writing this, the music of Sufjan Stevens keeping me company. It's New Year's Day and I'm on a hobby farm a few clicks out of Yass in southern New South Wales. I'm surrounded by family, alpacas, dogs, chooks and kangaroos. I sleep in a bed, safe, next to my girls now. I'm enjoying storms again and have only jumped on the bike once or twice in the past ten days since crossing the arbitrary line in the sand that marked the Victorian border. I'm here to put words down on paper, words to accompany my photographs, words to contextualise the landscapes, words to enrich the seascapes, words to tell the story of a bloke, a bike and what five thousand kilometres of South Australia look like.
Hopefully you're on the couch, or better yet, on a porch somewhere overlooking the ocean. You've got a few minutes spare, cup of coffee with you, perhaps a glass of wine and the muso Elliot Smith providing you with a soundtrack. You've had a flick through the photographs but you're still a little unsure what you're looking at. Is this a photo essay? Not really. A surf magazine? Nope. A visual history of South Australia? Yes and no. An adventure novel? Kinda, but not really.