These images have been created 'On Country' in various parts of Australia, in collaboration with the traditional owners of the land. Some images were captured in the Kimberley in Western Australia, some in Groote Eylandt, and at Culpra station in Victoria. I respectfully acknowledge the elders and other local people that I worked with to create these images and am most thankful for the privilege of visiting their lands.
Portraits of Knowledge
Commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts & NT Government, Portraits of Knowledge was a project based in Groote Eylandt, Australia. Situated in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Groote Eylandt is home to the Anindilyakwan people. The project was designed for teenage students from the Angurugu School and to involve Indigenous elders and leaders from the various communities on Groote Eylandt. The project focused on portrait photography and was collaborative in nature. The act of creating portraits of individuals and groups aimed to engender pride, ownership and respect. Selected project imagery including student work was exhibited at the Darwin Library, at the One People One Voice and published into a hard back book for the community's use in 2014.
Broader Reality is a series of analogue photographs which was first exhibited at No Vacancy gallery in Federation Square, (Melbourne), in 2012. The images were captured on an Xpan camera. The panoramic format of these images aims to heighten the power and expanse of the natural environment. By transforming these scenes into a ‘broader reality’, the viewer is encouraged to reflect on their relationship with the urban and natural environments that they inhabit. The aim is to positively endorse the persistence of nature through the repetition of key motifs such as clouds and water.
Some excerpts from the catalogue essay, written by Associate Professor Ken Wach, (Emeritus Principal Research Fellow and Head, School of Creative Arts, The University of Melbourne) -
"When working, Costello’s aesthetic Geiger counter remains turned on; the potential of Nature and the everyday are always under surveillance. In her view, an artistic photograph is made rather than taken; always,the making is guided by the desire to convey. Her central issues hinge upon personal sensitivity to subject and receptivity to content. Costello’s photographs are about something rather than of something."
"...the overall aim is to transform, renew and recuperate the wide-screen wonder of overlooked things and to install a poetic sense of the awe-inspiring majesty of Nature – usually through the lens of a camera, but always through the eye of the mind! Her carefully made panoramic analogue photographs invite us to peer through their “letter-box” formats and perceive - they tend to encompass the viewer much like music encompasses a listener and to unlock a deeper view ofthe “broader reality” beyond the curtain of the observable..."
"...Her photographs present vignettes that encourage active seeing rather than passive looking and thereby re-install and remind us of the beauty of almost lost sensations."