Gormanston.

Since returning to my home state of lutruwita / Tasmania at the start of the global pandemic, I have faced a reckoning, of sorts, in considering my childhood and departure from the island twenty years ago. The early and unexpected nature of the migration forced an examination of familial memories and a questioning of the material and immaterial nature of place.

Queenstown and its surrounding areas have been home to my ancestors for five generations. I spent the first three years of my life in our family home on Jakins Street and the park adjacent the railway is named after my grandfather, Trevor Carswell, for his commitments to the local community. Although I haven’t lived in Queenstown since early childhood, my memories are tied to visits back to see my grandmother and relatives; the winding roads that lead into the valley are tinged with nostalgia. Despite the shifting of time, the scale of the mountains remains unchanged in my eyes as scars of the landscape remain embedded in my cerebral memories. Social, cultural and environment aspects of Queenstown appear unchanged to the casual observer. However, like the ebbs and flows of the mining industry, there is a recent sense of imminent change. A town on the cusp of transformation, both from internal and external forces has emboldened a sense of urgency to document Queenstown and the shifting tides.

This body of work commenced when I was in residence at Q Bank Gallery in September 2020 and has been made over numerous trips back since. It stems from an interest in interrogating the intersection of the human condition with the land and examining the impacts of anthropological forces on the corporeal setting.

One of the ‘99 bends’ that leads into Queenstown on the Lyell Highway.
One of the ‘99 bends’ that leads into Queenstown on the Lyell Highway. I enjoy the car vistas as each turn teases and reveals aspects of what lies ahead.

Sedgewick Street.
Sedgewick Street. My uncle lived here and we visited once on Christmas Day. A couple of people in town spoke to me briefly about him and say how sad it is that he passed away.

I find the architecture of Queenstown to be unique and hard to describe to someone who has never experienced it firsthand.
I find the architecture of Queenstown to be unique and hard to describe to someone who has never experienced it firsthand.

Local artist and rock-rat, Rory Wray-McCann.
Local artist and rock-rat, Rory Wray-McCann.

The house of deceased artist Leo Kelly sits precariously in the shadows of the hills. Leo created the piecemeal structure himself and it includes separate rooms for prayer, astrology and photo processing.
The house of deceased artist Leo Kelly sits precariously in the shadows of the hills. Leo created the piecemeal structure himself and it includes separate rooms for prayer, astrology and photo processing.

The bedroom of Leo Kelly.
The bedroom of Leo Kelly.

Leo Kelly’s throne.
Leo Kelly’s throne.

A disused building in Queenstown.
A disused building in Queenstown.

Comrie; the old guest residence for Mount Lyell mine.
Comrie; the old guest residence for Mount Lyell mine. My Nan lived and worked here when I was younger and had Princess Anne stay as one of the visiting dignitaries during her tenure. When I returned, the film crew for The Tailings were using the house for the hair and make-up department. The producer asked if I knew that Princess Anne once stayed. I think the curtains in the front room are still the same.

Nelson Falls.
Nelson Falls.

The grave of my ancestors Jane Risely (Schulze) 1895–1929 and Louisa Edwards (Riseley) 1868–1924 at the Linda Cemetery.
The grave of my ancestors Jane Risely (Schulze) 1895–1929 and Louisa Edwards (Riseley) 1868–1924 at the Linda Cemetery.

Peter with his two housemates at home in Gormanston.
Peter with his two housemates at home in Gormanston.

The ‘Gormy Links’ golf course. Recently featured in an international golfing magazine.
The ‘Gormy Links’ golf course. Recently featured in an international golfing magazine.

Gormanston.
Gormanston.

Mount Owen.
Mount Owen.

The view down to Linda Valley.
The view down to Linda Valley.

Dave Carswell

Dave Carswell is an Australian photographer currently based in lutruwita / Tasmania. Working broadly in the field of documentary image making, his work focuses on the collision course between nature, humans and the built environment. His interests lie in the tension that exists in urban areas, the way in which human intervention shapes the formed landscape and a recent focus towards public space and the manner in which behavioural influences shape contested spaces.

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The Unconformity acknowledges the palawa people as the original and traditional custodians of lutruwita / Tasmania. We commit to working respectfully to honour their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this land.