TASMANIA – ANOTHER COUNTRY
Tasmania is a heart-shaped island at the bottom of the world, redolent of history and myth – a place where the government once paid its inhabitants to shoot into extinction a majestic animal known as the thylacine or Tasmania tiger. A place where today the largest flowering plants on the planet, the mighty Eucalyptus regnans, are reduced to tiny woodchips and sold for questionable profits. A place where the discovery of ancient aboriginal artefacts is seen as a problem to be solved rather than a gift celebrated. Despite this, for me, Tasmania remains unique in its unspeakable beauty and inherent wildness. The question is: Will this wild and special island retain the free agency that entitles it to love and wonder, or is it to be reduced to the mere banality of artefact, no more or less than any other abused and broken scrap of the globe?
MATTHEW NEWTON is a photographer / cinematographer based in Hobart. He has shot numerous documentaries that have been broadcast nationally as well as feature documentaries for festival release. He has worked on shoots in over a dozen counties, often in remote locations, and has worked as a second unit director on many of these. His work is regularly chosen amongst the countries best and exhibited in the nations premier photographic art prizes. He has been a finalist in the National Portrait Prize, the Moran Prize for Contemporary Photography and the Bowness Photographic Prize on a number of occasions. Matthew has also received several awards and accolades for his work. He regularly photographs for editorial and news publications throughout Australia and has been recognised for his work documenting the struggle for Tasmania’s forests over the last decade, as a finalist in the Australian of the Year awards and the Walkley awards for journalism. Matthew was a founding board member of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy established in 2001, a not for profit, non government, community based organisation that protects land for biodiversity in Tasmania. Through his images, Matthew has assisted the organisation in growing into one of Tasmania’s largest private landowners protecting Tasmania’s important natural areas.