Message Obscura

A new exhibition by artist Amanda Bennetts.

Using recycled letterboxes, camera obscura, photography and video, ‘Message Obscura’ is a site-specific installation for the Park Road Boardwalk, Noosa Heads. Unassuming to passerby’s, this artwork relies on social outcome and curiosity in order for it to be discovered. In creating an incidental artwork, the artist hopes to raise questions for the viewer. Why is there a row of letterboxes as seen on country roads in front of the ocean? Where are the houses? Who do these belong to? What is inside the letterbox? As curiosity sets in and the viewer peers into a letterbox, they will see a flipped image of the landscape, a camera obscura. As the landscape is flipped, will the viewer pay more attention? Other letterboxes will house dry plate emulsions photographs on glass that are backlit either by the light of day or from artificial lighting at night. Other letterboxes may have rear video projections onto a translucent screen. Each letterbox will house a new experience for the viewer to explore. In Australia, the collection of country road letterboxes are steeped with nostalgia and familiarity. Nostalgia only occurs because of change, if nothing changed or progressed, nostalgia would not exist. The comfort of the past evokes a longing for time bygone, but what for the future? By using the near defunct letterbox, the artist is sending a letter to her viewer to pay attention. With the landscape as the message, how will the viewer consider the work? Placed in the idyllic surrounds of Little Cove, what is to become of this environment, our nostalgia and connection to place if we do not consider the future?