Saturday, May 05, 2007

Artwords #51: Botanical

Lost (in the Garden of Eden)

The title for my entry in Artwords this week comes from the fact that the original photo which is the basis of this work was taken in a place called Eden, on the south-east coast of Australia, close to the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Eden is an old whaling town on a rugged but beautiful area of coastline, and it really stays in my mind as a highlight of that trip.

We stumbled onto the town, having not heard of it before but some time later saw a special on ABC TV entitled "Killers in Eden". The following is an excerpt from the cover of the DVD.

"On the southeast coast of Australia, the town of Eden nestles along the shores of Twofold Bay. It was once a center of Australia's thriving whaling industry, in part because it lies along the migration path of baleen whales swimming northward from the Antarctic. But residents say Eden's whalers got some unusual help -- from orcas, or killer whales, that patrolled offshore.
Locals such as Elsie Severs and Alice Otten who witnessed the hunts say the orcas took the lead in the hunt, herding larger migrating whales into the bay. Once the whales were confined in the bay, the orcas would then attack their quarry to the point of exhaustion. Human whalers moved in for the final kill -- then shared the spoils with the orcas."

That story is really just a bit of scene-setting as my image obviously has nothing to do with whales. I stumbled across this bushy area by a lookout and had to stop and take some photos. The tangle of tree trunks, gnarled by the salty winds had created a natural grotto. You can see one of the original images here. I worked on the image in Photoshop, mostly using the adjustment layers and the lighting effects to create this work.

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