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Christl Berg

“I arrived in Australia in 1984 from Germany via a very long working holiday in India (1969-1984). Tasmania has become my third home. The work I have produced over the past 15 years dealt, in the earlier years, with memories of living in India, and confronting my German heritage. From 1998 onwards my focus of attention shifted to being here. Tasmania’s cultural and natural history, and the attempt to gain a sense of place for myself, has nurtured my image making. I have repeatedly used aspects from the botanical environment as a means to communicate my experience of and relationship to place.

My PhD project Tracings – a photographic investigation into being in the land – concentrated on one of Tasmania’s National Parks, Maria Island, with the aim to find a visual language that would interpret a sense of being, rather than looking at the landscape. Living and working in a regional town, Launceston, my current images respond to my daily passage to and from work, walking along a stretch of suburban main road. The physical presence of plants in this public no-one's land, the exchange I feel to conduct with them as the seasons change; what they seem to reveal, absorb and evoke on a mental and emotional level, fascinates me.

Over the past few years the photogram as index and trace of material presence and absence and the digital scanning of matter, another form of tracing objects with light, have become my sources and methods for making images. A consideration of the space of the gallery or exhibition venue and its potential impact on a viewing audience plays a substantial part in my planning and installing of work. In addition, I have used text on several occasions, directly adhered to walls and floor, alluding to sensory experiences other than visual.”

(Christl Berg 2006)