The use of an arcane photographic technique such as the collodion tintype immediately takes us to another time. Tintypes carry light hearted associations of seaside holiday photographs, often staged in front of a painted backdrop. These works lasted many years and the stiff portraits of holiday makers are a remarkable record of society more than a century old.
When photographers first used this technique in colonial Tasmania, decisions were being made about nature that we must live with today. Introduced animals and plants, overfishing and pollution have transformed Tasmania from a bounteous island to one where an extinct species is a symbol of our state.
Phillip England has investigated the juxtaposition of image, time and environmental change in this series of precious tintype photographs. The strange chemistry of these images makes a picture that emits a ghostly presence while being iconic in nature. Like icons their precious detail is an aid to contemplation of an island state that has changed as profoundly as photography has since its invention.