This River currently called ‘Mersey’ has become entwined with the life of Tasmanian lens-based artist Kelly M Slater as a constant yet evolving presence in her thoughts.
It has sustained life and spirit of a region for millennia, shaping the land and the lives of the people who depend upon it. The river we know, the one we can see, is wide and placid. Subdued by dams and bridges it meanders through broad agricultural valleys. Yet beyond our view there is a river few of us know: A wild river running through deep gorges and forests.
Inception is drawn from the first series of images produced by Kelly during her explorations of the river over the last year, December 2019 – 2020. Her knowledge and respect for the river is growing, having physically traversed around half the length of the river by foot and watercraft, covering sections of each geographic region of the riverine system: Headwaters, lakes, gorges, lowlands, and tidal reaches. Some areas of the river remain unseen, so her explorations will continue.
Kelly moved to Northwest Tasmania in 2009, working as professional photographer one way and another since that time. When her children headed off on their education and life adventures, Kelly embraced the opportunity to take her photographic practice in new directions. Exploring concepts and ideas as a lens-based artist, making images of the environment and the sense of place she experiences while immersed in the topography of Tasmania.
Photography is a passion and compulsion that has driven her since adolescence, growing up in New Zealand. Using film cameras and analogue printing techniques as a teenager gave her a strong foundation in the capture of light, moving to digital as soon as DSLR’s and digital editing became affordable. Kelly is now actively developing new skills, embracing the capacity of modern cameras to capture moving images.