It was an experience I had at Cedar Creek during an artist retreat that really inspired 'The Land and I' project so I decided to use it as my test location.
After researching the historical history of the Cedar Creek area I knew I wanted to portray the fertility of the region by covering a dress with flowers and scattering flowers around the rocks. I scoured all my nearby op shops and finally found a tattered wedding dress for $20. I have a supply of fake flowers I planned to pin to the dress but I noticed that if they didn’t have distinguishable centres (like daisies) it was hard to tell what they were, so after spending more money on fake flowers than I care to mention I safety pinned flowers all over the dress as you can see in the time-lapse below. I created the headpiece by carefully pinning flowers to a hairnet.
I was unable to get permission from the land owners to access the Cedar Creek waterfalls and I wasn’t prepared to cart this massive dress 20 minutes up the creek bed so I visited a number of times to find another spot to use, eventually settling for a small waterfall to the left of the private property gate. To get the right angle I had to climb down some tall rocks and rock hop over to the other bank which I must have done 40 times on shoot day!
None of this would have been possible as a self-portrait so I recruited a friend to model the dress but because I was about 20 metres from her and with the noise of a waterfall between us there was lots of yelling and hand signals to direct her poses. We shot between 3-5pm on a somewhat overcast weekday as weekends see an influx of visitors and I wanted as much privacy as possible. There was a small softbox with a Speedlite to the model’s right just to spill some light onto her face. I shot long exposures to get the flowing waterfall, expanded the frame to show more of the scene, and replaced the background to include the creek bed extending into the distance.
I took along some fabric to try and make the dress blend into the waterfall.
My mum kindly acted as assistant, stretching fabric, flicking hair and taking behind the scenes video.
Model: Aliesha Kissener Assistant: Jennifer Roberts
The final image:
This project is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) which is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.