From ground level, Australia’s drought looks like a featureless, brown dustbowl, but from the air it transforms into an artistry of colour and texture as the land cracks under a blazing sun.
Circular dry plough tracks resemble the concentric circles in Aboriginal dot paintings that tell of an ancient mythology, starving cattle queuing for feed look like an abstract painting and their black shadows stretching across the land a surrealist image.
But for farmer Ash Whitney, there is no such beauty, just blood, sweat and tears as he struggles to feed his cattle, cutting the drying branches of Kurrajong trees – a last resort during the worst of droughts.
“I have been here all my life, and this drought is feeling like it will be around a while,” says a despairing Whitney, whose property near the town of Gunnedah is on the Liverpool Plains, a usually fertile area now withered having received the lowest average rainfall in nearly 30 years.
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Australia’s drought – the cancer eating away at farms
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at Wider Image
Clean, spare, and meditative, joSon’s photography reveals a mind of extraordinary focus as well as a deep sense of captivating simplicity. Perhaps these qualities can be attributed to the fact that joSon lived in a Buddhist temple from age 10 to age 18, gardening, drawing, and teaching art to the resident monks. When he turned 18, the temple master told him he was destined for artistry, noting that, “Life chooses us and takes us places.” Here, joSon shares how his experiences played a role in shaping his life as a photographer, and why his images incorporate what he was looking for in the temple—a deep desire for peace, combined with an inspired approach to life.
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Insights and ideas from joSon, Adobe® Photoshop® user