Jan Parker / No Matter How Clean And Quiet / May 09 – June 01 2013

No Matter How Clean And Quiet

‘We do not have to be long in the woods to experience the always rather anxious impression of “going deeper and deeper” into a limitless world. Soon. if we do not know where we are going, we no longer know where we are…’

– Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space

I spent 3 months living and working in rural France. Initially I wandered during daylight hours out into the countryside along remote roads and forest pathways until I was followed on a number of occasions by a man in a white van. I felt exposed and uneasy. So I gravitated towards photographing at night and before dawn, to be unseen and inconspicuous.

I went out into the forest early in the morning before dawn, at dusk and late at night during a cold autumn/winter. I breathed in the cold air, the space, early bird sounds and the silence. One time when I stopped and was absorbed in taking a picture, I paused, feeling the silence change around me. The forest seemed to move and I experienced a visceral fear. The eerie light emanating from the nearby nuclear reactor made me feel uneasy. I knew I was unseen and alone but the feelings were unexplainable and real.

Was I experiencing an Arcadian moment? Like Denecourt, who explored and marked trails in the Forests of Fontainebleu in the 1830’s, my nightly and early morning forays around Marnay sur Seine in the Champagne-Ardenne had little direction and were in an unknown and strange environment where I stumbled and got lost. These images seek to explore our imagined origins, where the observed scene is dark and difficult to read. Forests and landscapes are submerged into condensed, ambivalent feelings.
Jan Parker, 2013

The artist wishes to thank the following people for their support and assistance: Annette, Michael and Rudi Williams, William Tarlo, Phillip Graham, Dena Kahan, Penny Williams, Alyson Skinner, Shane Waghorne at Colour Factory, Simon Olding at ICC Imagetec, CAMAC , Bill Andrew and Susan Hewitt.

Jan Parker graduated in Fine Arts (Photography) at RMIT in 1992 and in Psychology at Latrobe University in 1979. Parker was a studio artist at 200 Gertrude Street from 1993 to 1995. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Australia, including a number of solo shows and has exhibited internationally in France.

Although primarily Melbourne based, she has lived and worked in Darwin during which time she was artist in residence at NTU and also in France for extended periods of time undertaking a solo exhibition in Paris in 2011. She was a finalist in the Albury Art Prize, the 35th Alice Prize and a participant in Octopus # 2 at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces. Her work is held in a number of private collections in Australia, Vietnam, France and Italy.

Parker was a recipient of an international residency at CAMAC in France in 2010-11 where she created these works. She has self- published a book of photographs related to this series. She currently lives and works in Tasmania.

Download the room sheet here. 
Purchase the exhibition catalogue here

No Matter How Clean And Quiet, Light Journeys, April 2013


Jan Parker is a recipient of residency at: