Belinda Nolan’s photographs explore the natural water courses of her environs in Sydney. Daily walks along the bays, and the discovery of hidden water holes, with her camera and dog, enabled Belinda to revisit the same locations, only to discover that the more she immersed herself in the seemingly familiar the more they revealed themselves. The images conveyed poetry, illuminating that the shadow and light of the photographic image is resonant in verse.
If I were to spear a cloud
It would rain,
And I could feign - misery,
‘Ah the rain again!’
But I stand here, wet through
Tingling in a swathe of dew,
Knowing there is little time for malcontent.
The night light morphs into a heliograph, messaging.
Deciphering the code, I smile,
For the light within shadow,
Has me see,
That in gratitude for all, lies mercy.
Speak to me, Lord of the Sea
Having covered me, awash.
As you behold me, I quiver,
As you deliver, I drown,
Now me, becoming you, will carry my corpse and clothes.
And they will cry, as we taste their tears and float their wreaths.
All seems awash,
But there’s You, being me, the sea.
Rocks, there one day,
Then gone the next,
When seas roll in to hide.
And some may look and well believe they don’t exist at all.
I am here some time; then gone the next,
And you may well forget;
But remember well, I am your rock
When all seems spent and gone.
Remember well, I am your rock
When seas roll on and on.
If you row with me
If you pull, drag and flow with me,
I’ll get there,
Where to ...? I do not know.
But now, for this short while,
Will measure in full light, all those rows alone.
Sinuous branches shimmer,
Heralding dreams are but shattered glass.
Too many pieces scattered to save and to harness.
I watch from the shore,
Then shoved from behind,
Deep into this silky glow I go, down deeper down, I flow,
When incandescent light beckons; I turn
I surface whole.
I have left the tree that birthed me
And I’m floating far from source.
I will mulch a new beginning
That will ensure that sprigs come forth.
I will bear some fruit – a plum!
With a purple, satiny cloak
Soft orange bellied
I will be,
sustaining for your health,
And as you grab me from the bowl
Whilst pondering your woes,
Lost chance of ever recognising, the pleasure I bestow.
I stand backwards, tired; perched on a tyre you discarded
My monotone hue, shadows my former self.
Faint praise for my ability to adapt,
When colours of red, gold and black were stripped away
And in knowing what was once; I have only dying memories.
I have adapted; I had no choice
Yet until the Red earth is known as spilt blood
Can the Yellow sun shine
The light will dazzle and my colour will unfurl
And I will turn to face my land again
When we’ve all agreed to be custodians
For it’s not the claimant’s choice anymore.
The Earth has decided for you.
Layer after layer,
You sift through,
Pigeonholing and defining,
Forgetting we’re the same.
Which of you is real?
The river or the cloud.
Which of you covers this hallowed ground?
Is it that I see you,
But not see through to you.
Is it that you see me,
And know that this is true.