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What's On Art Exhibition

Beyond Above Western Australia by Martine Perret – Exhibition of aerial photographs

Next event Tuesday 1 Dec from 10am to 4pm

By Margaret River Heart

Western Australia’s unique landscape is revealed with extraordinary vision and detail in the ongoing aerial photography project, Beyond Above Western Australia by photographer Martine Perret.

Martine, who was born in the French city of Bordeaux but now calls Margaret River home, shares a series of breathtaking images taken from the air, giving a new perspective on ancient land forms.  Perret became interested in aerial photography while working as a UN photographer covering peacekeeping missions in conflict zones such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of The Congo and most recently in South Sudan and West Africa documenting the Ebola crisis response.

“As a peacekeeping photographer I had flown almost weekly on UN helicopters on missions to remote places. I had learnt there was no better way of getting an understanding of unfamiliar terrain than to see it from above.”

A series of helicopter photography flights over the Margaret River region led to the publication of her first book, From Above. Her latest book, Beyond, goes further afield to explore the Goldfields-Esperance, Gascoyne, Mid West and Kimberley regions from the air.

“No matter how many times I would study the internet maps of these regions to prepare for my photography flights, nothing would match the beauty of what I could see with my own eyes,” says Martine.

“By varying my flying altitude at different times of day, and playing with the sun’s angle I could capture striking colours and highlight unusual shapes and patterns.”

Her images show the tidal mud flats of Derby as great snaking branches and intricate tendrils, and the vast swathes of seagrass beds of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area Marine Park. The Goldfields salt lakes appear in sensual colour; the iron-rich soil producing deep red and manganese creating shades of purple, offset by dramatic streaks of white salt. This ancient tableau of land, sea and sky has been forming for millions of years, in this extraordinary corner of the world.

“I am truly lucky to call Western Australia home. I hope you enjoy this visual journey above this very special place,” says Martine.


Artist Biography

Martine Perret began her professional career in Sydney in 1999 working as a freelance photographer and photo desk editor at The Australian Financial Review. Her interest in photojournalism took her to Timor-Leste in 2003 where she developed a working relationship with the United Nations.

For the next decade Martine covered UN peacekeeping missions in conflict zones such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of The Congo, and most recently in South Sudan and West Africa (documenting the Ebola crisis response). Now living in Margaret River, Western Australia, Martine self-published her first book, a series of aerial views of the South West region titled Margaret River Region FROM ABOVE.

In July 2015, Martine initiated new project flying over Western Australia’s Goldfields. This series of photographs is called Gungurrunga Ngawa (Look Above). These images were exhibited in October 2015 and are part of the broader body of work Ngala Wongga (Come Talk), a project documenting the speakers of the Goldfields, their connection to the land and the cultural significance of Australia’s endangered languages.

Ngala Wongga was inaugurated at the Goldfields Arts Centre in Kalgoorlie on 20 September 2016. The exhibition toured with ART ON THE MOVE for 18 months in WA and at the Australian Embassy in Paris for the launch of activities for the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019.

The new Ngala Wongga book has been recently published with a multimedia link at the National Commission for UNESCO’s website as a legacy work. Martine recently started a new project “Wuyurpa” collaboration with 7 women – speakers of Indigenous Languages from Western Australia and Northern territory.

"Martine Perret has framed a fraction of Western Australia’s breathtaking landscapes from above and captured what is profoundly magical and timeless about this land. "

Paola Anselmi, Curator & Arts Writer