Specimen is a series of photographic and video artworks made with the Australian Institute of Anatomy Collection from the National Museum of Australia. These specimens in jars lack any detailed records of their origin, rendering them eternally dislocated from their own histories, from the timescales and landscapes in which they lived. Instead they sit preserved in toxic formaldehyde.
Many of the specimens represent species heavily impacted by human activity. By projecting photographs of their ghostlike presences back onto the landscape, Specimen invites audiences to consider their relationship with their natural environment and its non-human community.
Animated by place, the final photographs render these specimens both present and absent in a changing environment.
In Australia, these images have been projected back onto the landscape from which they were removed: Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Falls Creek, Narrandera and Kurnell.
In the UK they were projected onto places connected to the colonisation of Australia: London, Plymouth and Portsmouth.
This is an ongoing series of site-specific works that will also have a gallery-based outcome in 2020.