Over the Ditch: Queer Mobilities at the Nexus of Art, Geography and History
Keywords:Trans-Tasman mobility, queer mobility, creative geography, historical geography
This paper takes the form of a photo-essay that documents Over the Ditch, a site-specific photomedia installation in the On Islands exhibition, held in 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Over the Ditch is an outcome of collaboration between a geographer and an historian, who are also an artist and a designer, working together at the nexus contemporary art practice, geography and history. The project collates and communicates the historical and contemporary experiences of trans-Tasman mobilities by queer New Zealanders and Australians. ‘Hopping over the ditch’ is an Antipodean colloquialism for trans-Tasman crossing. Over the Ditch explores the trans-Tasman experiences of seven gay men from 1931-2014. The work comprises archival, found and donated photographs from these men, together with ethnopoetic verse created from their diaries, stories and blogs. The site-specific installation takes the form of a journey, with 22 route-markers created from recycled timber, which present a sequence of visual and ethnopoetic narratives. This photo-essay documents the journey of Over the Ditch, retracing a trek through the in situ work. The photomedia installation, together with its reconstruction here, offers a practice-based creative approach to the representation of queer trans-Tasman mobilities over time and space – an approach that uses visual and textual language to reach across disciplines and audiences in order to convey the experiences of queer mobilities across the Tasman.
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