dirk hr spennemann photography



The Triple Bottom Line

No Water, No Hope, No Chance


Most of New South Wales was gripped by a deep drought in 2008. For those of us driving along country roads the sight was heartbreaking:
     - on the left a pasture eaten out to within an inch of its life;
     - on the right a paddock of bare soil bearing dusty witness to bad land management practice;
     - next to the road an irrigation channel that had been bone dry for months on end;
     - irrigation wheels that had not turned for a very long time, overgrown with weeds and Patto's curse running rampant;
     - dead sheep on the land, cracked up red soils, and the only green in sight were Paddy melons.
   Worst of all, to my eyes, was the sight of many Callitris... both small and tall that had died because of the lack of water. I asked myself, if plants with tap roots can't make it, what can?
   In 2008 I undertook a photographic project where every day I photographed the world reflected in the eyes of people around me (eyes } world { hands). I would have liked to seek out and photograph the eyes of those personally affected by the drought--but I did not have the courage to ask, nor did I have the heart to do so. It felt too cruel a request. Instead I chose to document the silent witnesses of the drought, and interpret them through the mechanical eye of my camera.
   I took my title from the mantra of sustainable development. But there was little, if any sustainability in '08, neither social, nor economic, let alone environmental.
   The triple bottom line of 2008, as I saw it, was no water, no hope. no chance.

Bitter Harvest

Defiant in death (Lake Mungo Lunette)


National Wine & Grape Industry Centre

Wagga Wagga, NSW

(14-16 June 2009)



ArtSpace Murray School of Education

Thurgoona, NSW

(6 May - 13 June, 16 June-20 July 2009)

extended to 18 September 2009