“Its hard to define this island as it has so many faces and everyone draws something else out of this island. I love hearing peoples stories of time spent here and since I have been doing this project I’ve welcomed peoples eagerness to share their experiences. Childhood holidays, the pulling up of cray pots, watching sting rays cruise past in the water, navigating your way on your bike in the darkness…trying to find your way back to your chalet, movie nights, boating adventures, sore legs from all day explorations on a bike, swimming the crystal blue waters, and let’s not forget the pub, the bakery and the odd Quokka encounter.
The island that is so unique to our coastline.
For me working at Rottnest was a welcome yet daunting project. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the project and the time limit to get it all completed, however, I’m not one to shy away from a challenge. I immersed myself into what to me felt like island life. The way I saw it. Waking up early each day to capture the sunrise and falling into bed each night after trying to capture the very last light. Navigating a path of discovery during the day. Just me, a bunch of heavy camera equipment and my trusty bike. Feeling free to roam and discover, losing sense of time; being able to immerse myself into what I saw and felt as I explored every nook and cranny of the beautiful wild escape. I felt alone yet embraced. I felt the island breathe when I did; alongside me. Like another living being introducing itself to me.
Rottnest too has felt at times quite dramatic and spiritual. Unbeknown to me at the time I have since found out that Wadjemup (as Rottnest is known by the traditional owners, the Whadjuk Noongar people) has a couple of meanings and one of them being; ‘place across the water where the spirits are’. It all made perfect sense to me.
I feel that Rottnest epitomizes character through each of its features. From the wind shaped trees, to the rocks, all the amazing wildlife, the settlement history and to the translucent blue waters with its tides and patterns. Time and conditions have left their mark on the land and formed this being of Rottnest. Once again it left me wondering who or what had been here before me.
Pleasure to meet you Rottnest; its a privilege. ”