March 22, 2012
Whilst it has been raining I have been searching the archives for old photographs of Queenstown. I came across a couple by Frank Hurley in the Collections Australia Network (CAN).
There are quite different interpretations of the Tasmania landscape to the tradition of William Charles Piguenit whose visual conventions emphasised the grandeur of the mountain wilderness---ie., the Romantic interpretation of the Kantian sublime.
One of Hurley's pictures was of the landscape around Queenstown:
Frank Hurley, Mt. Lyell, Queenstown, Tasmania NLA
This does not highlight the beauties of the Tasmanian landscape or the magnificence and power of nature that was followed by John Watt Beattie.
Another picture was of the Mt Lyell mine within the Queenstown landscape
Frank Hurley, Mt. Lyell Smelter Queenstown, Tasmania NLA
Hurley's work suggests a different interpretation of the Tasmanian landscape to the wilderness one that some have argued has provided Tasmania with its identity and importance; or to the Gothic one of Tasmania as a dark and threatening place. It is a counter tradition that highlights the altered landscape and suggests that a Tasmanian sense of place can emerge from within these altered landscapes.
The West Coast of Tasmania would be one example.