t h i n

k i n g

t h e   l a n d s c a p e




I have been fascinated with the landscape since my childhood.  It is a constant lure for my imagination and my habitation, forming a vital part of my being that I cannot separate from my self.  This fundamental need has led me to explore the concept and thing that is the landscape to try and understand how and why it effects me so.


Domus is the Greek word for home; it is the etymological root of the word ‘domestic’.  All of these works were photographed within a one-kilometre radius of my home.  My home was both the starting point of this journey and the destination;  home framed as the familiar against which other places are identified, known, compared and experienced.  Home - the concept that organises and domesticates the landscape.

The co-ordinates of the titles are precise to the bottom right hand corner of each work; they were established using a theodolite and spherical calculus.  This is the methodology used for the colonisation of lands; it is the slicing up of space with time that renders the beginnings of the becoming of place. 

 contemporary, landscape, photography, conceptual, art

Domus: Latitude South 35 degrees 18 minutes 06.6 seconds  Longitude East 149 degrees 38 minutes 30.0 seconds

128cm x 143cm, 88 C Type photographs, 1995          

contemporary, landscape, photography, conceptual, art

Domus: Latitude South 35 degrees 18 minutes 0.0 seconds  Longitude East 149 degrees 38 minutes 40.5 seconds

80cm x 297cm, 162 C Type photographs, 1995

David Martin, contemporary, landscape, photography, conceptual, art

Domus: Latitude South 35 degrees 18 minutes 20.5 seconds  Longitude East 149 degrees 38 minutes 45.2 seconds

192cm x 154cm, 168 C Type photographs, 1995

The works are made from colour negative film, and were photographed over an extended period of time, usually several weeks each, due to the specific atmospheric conditions required.  Each individual photograph’s content is a random composition based on where the first one was made.  The overall composition and ‘look’ of each work was unknown to me, it was not pre-visualised.  Following hypothesis and simple method I used the camera as a recording instrument; re-assembling the subsequent documentation in an attempt to see what I otherwise could not – I was on a journey of discovery, looking for some unknown in the realm of the 'known'.

david martin, contemporary, Australian, landscape, photograph, conceptual, art

Domus: Latitude South 35 degrees 17 minutes 54.3 seconds  Longitude East 149 degrees 38 minutes 53.6 seconds

176cm x 154cm, 154 C Type photographs, 1995


david martin, conceptual, landscape, photograph, art

Domus: Latitude South 35 degrees 18 minutes 21.1 seconds  Longitude East East 149 degrees 38 minutes 13.3 seconds

81cm x 104cm, 126 C Type photographs, 1996

What correlation is there between a cultural depiction of place, the way that depiction of place is perceived, and the ensuing relationship to that place?’

David martin, contemporary, landscape, conceptual, art

The falling dark

99cm x 102cm, 197 C Type photographs, 1998

El Grande

El Grande

70cm x 100cm, gelatin-silver emulsion on cardboard carton, 2006

The El Grande work above was produced in response to forestry clear-felling malpractice.  El Grande was the name given to an iconic tree in the Florentine forest of the Derwent valley.  It was the biggest eucalyptus regnan by volume in Tasmania (and Australia); it was the world’s largest flowering plant and it was killed by the government agency Forestry Tasmania – ironically the organisation charged with protecting it.  The tree was estimated to be 350 years old, it was a large tree for more than a hundred years before the white settlement of Australia. 

Memento El Grande (parts 1 and 3)

(Total size) 60cm x 120cm, gum dichromate on hand-made bark paper, 2006

The Memento El Grande works are part of a series that explored the use of the materiality of the photograph itself  – rather than an explicit referent – to construct and convey meaning.  These photographs are made from the ‘referent’ - El Grande; they are the skin (bark) and the heart (burnt core) of the tree.  


These photographs are from an artist book project - Echo.  Pictured are the remnants of the forest formerly surrounding Lake Echo, located in central Tasmania. 


Lake Echo is part of a string of lakes that provide hydro-electricity for Tasmania; while it was once a natural lake of sandy shores and islets crouched in a magnificent forest valley, that beauty has been drowned as the lake was considerably enlarged in the hydro scheme. 

These tree remains rose from the depths of the lake during a prolonged dry period.

The story of the discovery of this lake, as recounted by Dr Ross in 1825, formed the conceptual impetus for this project and is recounted in this limited edition artist book.   2013

g a l l e r y