2020-shortlisted

Matthew Thorne – The Sand That Ate The Sea

By February 10, 2021 No Comments

The Sand That Ate The Sea is an intertextual work documenting the South Australian Opal mining town, Andamooka where part of my family live (and are Opal Miners).

The project was undertaken over 3 years living in the community on and off, and is presented in multiple formats; narrative film, music video, photography, and installation artwork.

These 10 images represent a story of what it means (in myth and in documentary) to live at the town at the literal end of the road. They tell a story of the modern frontier life, in all its cursed beauty. They question what it means to choose that isolation – and how that land (which is not yours – you, as a white person, merely occupy it) can have have so much magnetic pull.

The South Australian desert is a mystical place – millennia ago it was an ocean, and opalised aquatic dinosaur fossils are still found in the dirt there today. It is home to an arid land and deep, old magic. It is a place of endless sweeping salt flats and undulating flat red earth.

This is where the frontier is, and the last of the great Australian frontiersmen call it home. The land is a stolen land, and a cursed land – and the magic of that wound has a unique way of working on the people that are born there new, and those who came before.

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