An Installation by 2015 Clarence Jazz Festival Artists In Residence:
Raef Sawford and Mat Ward
Using sound, moving and still imagery, Kerosene Child/So I Ran My Camera explores the life of Tasmanian born war reporter Neil Davis. From humble beginnings in post-depression rural Tasmania, Davis became one of the world’s most sought-after combat cameramen / journalist of his time. Growing up near Sorell in Southern Tasmania, Davis was talented in many fields: expert horse rider; professional footballer with the Clarence Football Club; eloquent orator and keen photographer – an area where he pushed the boundaries both technically and conceptually.
He was also an incredible risk-taker with a bent for gambling, hard living, and a fierce reputation for courage under fire, continually putting himself at the frontline of combat. It was this lack of fear or concern for his safety that allowed him to capture some of the most gripping footage of the Vietnam War, bringing the harsh realities of war into the living room. Fittingly Davis not only died doing what he loved, (he was reporting on one of Thailand’s many Coups) but his camera was still rolling after he was hit with shrapnel, tragically recording his death.
In response to Davis’ association with the Rosny Farmhouse (he was apparently romantically involved with the farmer’s daughter!), artists Sawford and Ward explore the journey of an extraordinary life within the context of this ordinary, domestic beginning. Using Davis’ past-presence in the space where the work is situated, in conjunction with the visual record of his future-absence, Sawford uses imagery shot by Davis to conflate past, present and future. Through this imagery, Davis’ skill, courage and dedication to his craft are exemplified, and although his death was tragic and confronting, the sense of a life of purpose and integrity is the impetus that underpins this work.
Davis’ path from country lad to international cameraman through to his death on the streets of Bangkok provide the inspiration for Ward’s two sound pieces. They are written and performed for an ensemble of experimental sound intoners, found objects and jazz instruments as well as field recordings of Tasmania and south East Asia. Each piece occupies a different room onsite – with one work focusing on Davis’ early life and the other on his career in Asia. The sound colliding between the two rooms of the Rosny Cottage.
Opening night Wed 18th Feb at 5.15pm LIVE PERFORMANCE
Dylan Banks – Double Skinned Intonarumori
Matt Warren – Baby Intonarumori
Pat Neumayer – Human and Animal Bones