Festival Year :
Soliphilia is the solidarity needed between all people to take responsibility for the protection of loved places as well as returning damaged environments back to places that create solace ( Albrecht 2020b) March 2020, with travel restricted due to Covid-19, I began exploring my naturally diverse home in Pittwater every sunrise by foot or bicycle, capturing a digital or analogue photograph or film. At the time our perceptions of the world and our place within it were shifting and to stay anchored and connected I found images that expressed my gratitude and joy. I also began exploring my own sense of belonging and deep connection to particular places. This daily practice has led to a greater appreciation of Pittwater, our community and the importance of caring for each other and country. This exhibition represents a personal journey that shares universal themes. As more people recognise the earth as our ‘home’ we see shared interests, beliefs and values leading to collective investment in protecting our natural systems. Learning from Indigenous wisdom and knowledge, and looking after these intricate relationships could form a platform for collective thinking and future action. Soliphilia embodies four collections.
The first, ‘Embrace' is centred around the Northern Beaches Rockpools and rock platforms. With uncertainty everywhere, I found joy in the one certainty that the sun would still rise every morning. The images capture this special time of day, positive energy and freedom, something that was important to remember as the world closed in with lockdowns. I often used a Holga plastic lens camera, cross processing out of date Velvia film to bring the unexpected to the images.
The second collection, ‘ Being’ focuses on the natural bushland in Pittwater. Here I spent many hours over winter, exploring and connecting with its beauty and history. Feeling a deep connection to places in Pittwater has also come with unease as, like Peter Read in his book Belonging (2000), I’ve questioned our unresolved history of colonisation. I feel connected to places that Indigenous communities are currently fighting for recognition of their ownership. 'Do I have the right to belong in this soul country?' (Read 2000 p.9) . Images in this collection include cyanotype prints toned with natural bush dyes.
In December, Avalon became the Covid -19 epicentre and our community went into strict lockdown. The third collection in this exhibition is ‘Belonging’ and celebrates Avalon, it’s a unique environment, wonderful people and the connections we share. 'Beyond' is the last collection focusing on the Avalon rock pool and community during the winter lockdown. Daily practices and connections with nature that helped emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing.
Please check with the venue for up to date information about COVID-19 restrictions before visiting.
Sally Mayman continues to enjoy a lifelong passion for photography, working as an artist, commercial photographer and educator. Sally exhibits regularly, her personal work exploring the emotional, spiritual and physical connections we have with our environment and how these are intimately woven with our sense of belonging. With a background in fine art darkroom printing, Sally also works with early printing processes. She loves sharing her knowledge and skills with students throughout Australia, working as the artist in residence at Barrenjoey High School and Youth Off The Streets, running photography workshops for Moran Prizes and mentoring teenagers living with anxiety and depression. Her interest in documenting and supporting indigenous peoples has led her to work with many communities throughout the world. With painter Dale Kentwell their body of work, Saltwater Country captures what country means to the Aboriginal peoples on the Dampier Peninsula in Western Australia. The exhibition was adopted by the Wilderness Society in 2011 and helped create awareness leading to the closure of the proposed gas hub at James Price Point. In 2015 this body of work was bought by the State Library of WA and in 2019 the book Seeing Saltwater Country was published by Fremantle Press.
Art Gallery on Palm Beach
1097-1101 Barrenjoey Road
Palm Beach NSW 2108