THE GRAND SCHEME (work in progress 2016 – present)
This is part 1 of an edited version (with mainly landscapes) of my ongoing project concerning the Snowy Hydro Scheme and the Snowy Mountains region in NSW, Australia. You can find the full version, that includes a number of portraits, on my website.
The Snowy Hydro Scheme is widely regarded as the most ambitious industrial project in Australia’s history. Constructed between 1949 and 1972, the system diverts snowmelt water from the Snowy, Eucumbene and Murrumbidgee Rivers westward via a series of tunnels, aqueducts and reservoirs, through the Great Dividing Range for use in irrigation throughout inland Australia. In the process the water is used by power stations to create hydro electricity. It’s often referred to as an engineering wonder of the world.
But, on the driest continent on Earth, the story of The Scheme is ultimately one about humans re-shaping the environment to solve one of our most basic needs – that of water preservation. A post-WW2 nation needed the vital resources in order to grow and to survive.
Because the Scheme is situated within the pristine Kosciusko National Park, this photographic series is primarily an exploration of the balance between nature and man’s intervention upon it – the vast structures amongst epic landscapes, the re-shaped waterways and the newly created ones. But The Scheme is also a framework for the exploration of various aspects of life in the region – recreational activities like skiing in winter and walking, boating and fishing in the warmer months; the local towns and residents; and also people directly connected to The Scheme.
Ongoing since 2016 this series aims to present a contemporary document of a landscape that changed in order for a nation to change.