Natural Facts 5x1
Natural aesthetics is our focus. So many people have become estranged from natural environments. The future is bleak when we no longer pay attention to the natural. Now most people see ‘nature’ through documentaries, edited for narratives and ‘sensational and distorting portrayals of life’, (Richard Mabey).
One-minute videos without edits may seem lengthy in these days of frantic music videos with flash cuts and dizzying edits per minute. The work allows a natural environment to reveal itself slowly. The action is minimal, the videos become almost paintings.
The voice over is discursive, poetic, sometimes informative and hopefully interesting (Sianne Ngai’s aesthetic category of ‘Interesting’, rather than ‘Zany’ or ‘Cute’ -too much is at stake).
I live in Gumbaynggirr Country, a truth becoming more and more important to me. Three videos are from remediated wetland mining operations at Yurruunn.Ga, and two are from Jagun Nature Reserve. 18,19 May 2021.
Project Type:Documentary, Experimental
Runtime:5 minutes 47 seconds
Completion Date:June 17, 2021
Country of Origin:Australia
Country of Filming:Australia
John Bennett is a poet, published worldwide, who has won major poetry prizes. He also writes essays on environmental issues and his PhD explored ecopoetics. He lives in New South Wales by the sea in a beautiful sub-tropical region of rivers and forests, and has become a visual artist, but one with text embedded in most of the work.
He gives talks at Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery and exhibited a multi-media presentation ‘First Light - from Eos to Helios’, Coffs Harbour Regional Galley, from July, 2017. A documentary on this project, ‘Poetry at first light’ was broadcast by ABC Radio National’s Earshot, February, 2016. He recently provided texts, photographs and videos for artists for the national ‘Overwintering’ project (migratory shorebirds) exhibited at Coffs Regional Gallery, summer 2019/2020.
Other screenings/exhibitions include: Biligan (commissioned), Bellingen TurtleFest, 2016; the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Blackheath, Oct 2013; Matilda St Gallery, Macksville, Sept 2012; Balmain Watch House, Syndey, Oct 2011; Sydney Writers Festival, 2010; Newtown Underground Film Festival, Sydney, 2010; and a multi-media installation, MacLeay Museum, University of Sydney, 2007.
His videos have also been published in the special 30th anniversary edition of Going Down Swinging; ekleksographia (USA); Poetry Australia and online.
He has won photographic competitions and his images are used by The Dept. of Primary Industries, News South Wales, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, local councils, tourist authorities, festivals and schools.
He was Artistic Director of the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival for five years.
Blue Poles, Birugan Close
Valla Beach, NSW 2448
+61 2 400 261166