Someone recently told me that my style was “Australian Gothic”. I liked the sound of that so I did a bit more research and I thought I’d include this quote from The Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction Edited by Ken Gelder and Rachel Weaver. It describes the mood I’ve been delving into so well.
For the colonial Australian Gothic, the bush is invariably a place of settler disorientation and death, as if the promise of settlement can never be fully realised…The colonial Australian Gothic is drawn to primal or primordial landscapes, no doubt reflecting the early sense that even relatively proximate places were – in spite of the rapid development of the colony – still wild and unknown…The genre turns towards precisely those stories of death and brutality that might not otherwise be told in colonial Australia, playing out one of the Gothic’s most fascinating structural logics, the return of the repressed: quite literally, as graves are dug up, sacred burial grounds uncovered, murder victims are returned from the dead, secrets are revealed and past horrors are experienced all over again. In this way, the colonial Australian Gothic gives us a range of vivid, unsettling counter-narratives to the more familiar tales of colonial promise and optimism we are often asked to take for granted. In many cases these strange renditions of colonial anxieties and failure are indeed weird and melancholic; compelling s they are, they can also seem downright desolate and destructive.
The original archives photographs below.