Flore Vallery-Radot. Contrasts the exquisite beauty of this unique natural environment and the lack of care we give it.
In this wild environment, I felt at first like a complete foreigner. I used to know the name of many French Native plants in Paris where I was born or in Burgundy where my family is originated, I suddenly felt lost. As if looking at street signs in a country with a different alphabet.
Every day, I went on quest to discover new plants, trees, and ecosystems. I realised the immense biodiversity of the Royal National Park and wanted to document it for the pleasure of the discovery. I decided to ask specialists and passionate people starting an extensive research on the plants I photographed. These walks also became part of my creative thinking.
My approach since then, is to leave some mystery around my photos, not be too literal. I treat each plant as a new character I’m meeting. I shoot dark, chiaroscuro portraits of them. As I went on this self-assigned mission, I discovered the other side of the park, the dirty one. It’s also a dumping ground for people, where some drop their plastic cup of juice or coffee, their used T-shirt or underwear, or a door, a car wheel, a sofa. It’s where cyclist and bushwalkers leave plastic or rubber signage oblivious of the harm done to the shrubs or trees they attach it to.
My idea is to show the contrast between the exquisite beauty of this unique natural environment and the lack of care we give it. I want to show people how fragile it is and how our disrespectful attitude can slowly destroy it. If we teach our children that it’s OK to leave their trash in the park, will they have the same will to preserve this pocket of wilderness as the visionary people who in 1879 made it the second oldest National Park in the world. Won’t our children want to start building on it?
I think art needs to work for change. And this is my contribution.
My name is Flore Vallery-Radot. I’m a Paris born French photographer and filmmaker. I’ve worked a large part of my life as a textile journalist and writer, now exploring and sharing my vision of the world through my Leica lens. I arrived in Sydney, from Paris, nine years ago and I have been living in Grays Point for 6 years. My morning routine involves a walk in the Royal National Park, first to take my children to the lovely Grays Point Primary School and then for a healthy hour of bushwalking.
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