Young Melbourne photographer Emma Phillips’ new body of landscape images is so striking in its minimalist visage that it almost borders on abstraction. Shot amid the dramatic manmade undulations of a salt mine, SALT hints at many of the tropes of the landscape and picturesque tradition, only for the subject itself – the huge, white mounds of glistening salt – to cause a slippage. It’s a familiar form, but an alien landscape. Phillips also traces fragments of industrial and domestic infrastructure within this strange environment. The arc of a conveyor belt juts obliquely from towering apex of salt; a caravan, itself blasted white, sits oxidising in the midst of a vast, sun-beaten, white plane; an orange digger chugs across an otherwise colourless frame. Phillips has used salt as an allegory – reduced and economised – for the Australian interior..
Written by Dan Rule
“Emma was one of the photobook-making workshop participants at the OBSCURA Photo Festival in Malaysia. By that time she had already produced a pretty large dummy photobook, which was beautifully done but only a single copy was made. To accompany her solo exhibition in Australia in November – this time she made 500 copies of the book. The best part is that we can now own this beautiful work in a book format.” – Yumi Goto on Emma Phillips’ book SALT.