I went to school with a girl whose father was a Lighthouse Keeper in Tasmania. How wildly adventurous and exciting it seemed. Just imagine all the things you could get up to living on a small island with a great big Lighthouse as a backdrop. I imagined myself in long flowing dresses like a siren of the sea or a star in a Hollywood romance movie with fabric billowing around me, eyes watching the horizon and my hand shading my eyes from the bright sun, watching, just watching. I imagined big storms lashing the Lighthouse in the night and passing ships being safely guided past. In my daydreams, from the warmth of my school classroom, it seemed an exciting and exhilarating life. But my friend had a different view overshadowed by loneliness and isolation.
I recently read a story about a couple who spent their married life as Lighthouse Keepers. Apparently, Lighthouses are all called “Jezebel“, because the Lighthouse is the Keeper’s Mistress. Jezebelcomes first without exception; she must be attended, cajoled and nurtured, and above all respected, what a demanding woman she is! She requires constant attention or else all hell will break loose. With undivided attention she will reliably provide the safety that mariners rely upon, neglect her just a little and she will let you down at the worst possible moment. Sadly in some ways automating Lighthouses has taken away the romance, but Jezebels still stands proudly in most places all around the world still providing the guidance and safety they always have.
I am intrigued with the mystery and lure of “Jezebel”; these wild but spiritually special places that people have called home. A Lighthouse represents safety, a power stronger than we are and a guiding light in the turmoil of the storms in our lives. Our inner Lighthouse is our personal strength, our inspiration and a symbol of hope to direct us to that peaceful place that resides within all of us where the storm no longer rages, where the waters are calm, safe and provide us with the emotional tranquillity to tap into our inner strength and resilience. There is a Jezebel in all of us who will show us the way in the turmoil of our lives, as long as we nurture and listen to her.
The making of the latest image in the Lighthouse series, Jezebel, was a long and difficult labour of love. Like a mythical Jezebel, the image needed to be massaged and wrestled into life, dragged from the elements, cajoled into telling its story and give up its secrets to become greater than the sum of its parts. I hope you can indulge in the convergence between reality and make-believe and your imagination can run away with itself to write the story as you imagine it to be. The clues are there but Jezebel holds her secrets close. The image was constructed across two large Photoshop files made up of 116 layers in one and 111 in the other that were combined to produce the final image, version 9.
Lighthouse Tasman Island Light, with a brick façade from the Shot Tower, Taroona
House Derelict house at Jericho Tasmania
Jetty the first part, channel area, southern Tasmania – it no longer exists
the second part from Battery Point slip yard, Tasmania
Raging Sea from Eagle Hawk Neck, Tasmania on a particularly rough sea day
Headland entirely make-believe and constructed from various photographs of rocks and rock banks, grassy areas around Seven Mile Beach, Tasmania
Framed and unframed prints are available from Gallery Salamanca (email@example.com) or call +61 3 6223 5022