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Marzena Wasilowska, Forensic LandscapesTitle
Forensic Landscapes

Location
In storage

Media
Photography

Medium
Type C print

Credit
Co-winner Calleen Award 2003

Accession number
CAL2003 -2

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Marzena Wasikowska was born in Szczecin, Poland in 1962 and migrated to Australia in 1974. She studied at the (then) Canberra School of Art graduating in 1987 with a BA (Visual) in Photomedia. She also undertook an MA at the same institution (2000), and is currently a doctoral candidate at the ANU School of Art. She has exhibited regularly in group and solo exhibitions since 1985, mostly in Australia but also in Poland, Belgium, Germany, and South Africa. In 1998/99 Wasikowska worked in Poland where she was admitted as a member of the Polish Art Photographers’ Association. Her work is in a number of major collections including the Canberra Museum and Gallery, the Parliament House Art Collection, Artbank and the Albury Regional Gallery.

Forensic Landscape is one of a series of works that focus on unnamed but specific locations on the south coast of New South Wales. The site is presented in close-up, highlighting the dense scrub that characterises the coastal flora. The square format and concentration on an aspect of a place rather than the totality of a place supply the forensic aspect of the title. Wasikowska uses the landscape as a trigger for undefined memory. Viewers are invited to investigate the landscape in an objective, scientific way or allow themselves to be submerged in the image and let personal memories be evoked. The density of the tangled branches combined with the tunnel-like arrangement offers a space for seclusion or escape, a meditative space, a space for thought. The glimpsed sky at the top of the image supplies optimism, a possibility for escape from the labyrinth of branches. The artist’s image is at once visual and psychological. Her space as imaged in Forensic Landscape is beautiful and allusive.