Shayne Higson: Strange land
12 May 2015 to 12 July 2015
Shayne Higson work is primarily photographic, although she often augments her images using hand-drawn elements or digital manipulation. Her practice frequently engages with topical or historical issues as a form of social commentary and has always responded to her geographic context.
Strange land is the first of two series that Higson produced while living in the Torres Strait during the early 1990s. The series is based on the story of a young Scottish girl, Barbara Thompson, who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck in the Torres Strait in 1844. She lived on the island of Muralag for five years before being rescued. While living in the Torres Strait herself, Higson imagined being in the same situation and took photographs that resonate with the girl’s account of being adrift in a ‘strange land’. The heavily printed photographs capture dream-like images of the tropical environment and are inscribed with fragments of text taken from Barbara Thompson’s story as well as indigenous myths about the island’s history.