Sticky mud, mosquitoes, sand flies, odours…. sure they are also part of wetlands.
But quietude, bush sounds (birds, snapping shrimps, cicadas, wind, waves sometimes), colours, shapes, miniature / micro worlds (such as crabs territories), amongst other things are what make me love these places.
A big mind opening was listening to the Aboriginal people talking about how wetlands are part of their culture. The KNOWLEDGE section on www.wetlandwander.net is an important resource and includes interviews of Nywaigi, Gulgnay and Girramay peoples of Northern Queensland and the Quandamooka peoples of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island).
Fernanda Adame, the aquatic ecologist we worked with, taught us the conservation value of wetlands. I learned the term “BLUE CARBON”, and that wetlands process carbon 3-5 times more than a rain forest!!! But the counterpart is that it releases up to 10 times more the carbon if they are destroyed! Something to ponder about. I also learned a lot going on field trips with her and her students, observing their processes and trying to understand how and where our practices meet.
About making the immersive installation, I tried to integrate the experiential material that James Cunningham brought into the editing. That is his very slow walks and binaural recordings, giving pulsations with successions of stills and insights of his wonder land!
We worked so far on 3 types of wetlands: lacustrine, palustrine and estuarine. I am looking forward to complete the 4th type, by visiting the riverine wetlands.