Women In Photography - Lay of the Land : Dafna Talmor, Kapwani Kiwanga, Tamara Dean, Meghann Riepenhoff, Brooke Holm, Virginia Woods-Jack, Odette England, Katie Breckon, Siobhan McDonald, Katrin Koenning, Peta Clancy and Rhiannon Adam.
Cushana, Pitcairn’s only child, waits for the frigate birds that circle the landing with detritus from the day’s catch, feeding the giant birds by hand. When they swoop down they appear bigger than her. More like Pterodactyls than birds. A storm was brewing, and a wall of rain was quickly approaching from the sea, as the wind was picking up, Cushana’s joyous yelps were vanishing with the gusts. I watched her shiver with excitement and wait for the right moment to let go, just as the frigate had successfully grasped its prize. Watching Cushana and the frigates reminded me that here we were at the intersection between man and nature. It is impossible to divorce the Pitcairners from their rock - the two are inexorably linked. The isolation and rugged landscape as coarse as the personalities and attitudes of our living characters, as though they come from the pages of a book. It is as if their geographical location is a device or literary construct. Sometimes the parallels between the island and its people can seem “too neat” a metaphor, but the intermingling of fact and fiction are Pitcairn’s reality.
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