330kv substation with a hokusai sky

Western Sydney, hosts a 330KV electricity substation. I consider it the largest junction of power-lines in one place, I have seen in my life. Most people observe power-lines running down a street. Occasionally we notice the ubiquitous large line of power towers set in single rows and disappearing into the distance. Yet the scale of the 330KV electricity substation when first discovered proved mind-blowing. The steel and wiring used in the structure are astounding. What would seem to be a crazily intersecting geometric web for electrical power is in fact a finely ordered structure. It stands in a rural setting of paddocks gridded by barbed wire fences which in turn enclose lush grassland a mere 4km from suburbia. This picturesque rural scene is devoid of animals. It is relatively not far from where I live, about a 20-minute drive, and is largely out of sight and out of mind.

In this photographic series, a shift of focus occurs between a serene evening sky and the infrastructure that powers a city. Here the images convey the 21st Century enigma of both the natural and manmade world in a stereotypical sunset scene juxtaposed on an industrial one.  The reference to Hokusai in this work is not merely for the gradated colour of the sky, the linear illusion of mountainous forms (reminiscent of Hokusai’s ubiquitous Mt. Fuji), or the depiction of local industrial landscapes elevated to art. It is also with deference to a period of human history celebrated for its great cultural growth and infamous for its eventual excesses.