These are rock formations shot on the Turon River (Aboriginal: Yoorun) near Sofala which, when reflected in still waterholes, create striking images. In the several years I have been shooting in the same place, several of the revealed patterns bear a striking resemblance to the only remaining artworks of the local Wiradjuri people – ceremonial dendroglyph tree carvings held in the NSW State Library. They also form clear animal images such as fish and tortoises and, when rotated 90 degrees, sometimes create bizarre and monstrous totemic faces as seen in these entries. My thesis is that the patterns in waterholes, which are themselves spiritually important, almost certainly had spiritual significance to the original inhabitants who have since died out.

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Image detail: Matthew Newton