Inside this issue
Landscape photography is an expression of the unique relationship of the photographer with the land. My photography is an attempt to communicate the intimacy of that relationship and in so doing, stir the emotions and touch the spirit.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
Hillary Younger returned to her native Tasmania after an extended period of travelling and living overseas. Drawn back by the island’s wilderness areas which she had previously explored on horseback and on foot, a new passion for photography emerged. Remote places and their people still call to her, and have started to open up new avenues.
Can you start by telling me a little about your background – your education, childhood passions and vocation?
I was born and grew up in rural Tasmania. Obsessed with horses from the outset, and totally at home in wild places. Riding almost before I could walk. Given my first horse just before I turned four years old. And even then, loving to be alone in the bush, on my horse. And so an intimacy with the natural world developed and was nurtured from an early age. Wild places were easy to access for me then. There were temperate rain forests, beaches, coastal moorlands, where I could ride. And it was a world where there was also less paranoia, with parents who were not afraid to let their child explore even if that meant the bruises that went along with the risks.
And so the natural world, wilderness, became for me a place where I am at peace, and from which I derive intense joy. It is not surprising then, that my ‘other’ passion, alongside landscape photography, is hiking in the wild, sleeping on the ground, hearing the sounds of birds, wind and sea.
I also grew up an idealist. In the wake of the 60’s, which came ten years late to Tasmania, being behind the times as we have tended to be. So my adolescence and early adulthood was informed by an aura of optimism, and a belief that we could change the world for the better. In that atmosphere, I embarked on a journey of both self and world discovery.
In 1982, I decided to experience life in a different, non-western culture, and lived in Nepal for a year. This was a life-changer. I developed a love of the mountains, the himalayan people and cultures, particularly the Tibetan culture. It is when I first heard of ‘Little Tibet’ or Ladakh, as the enclave of Tibetan culture not ravaged by the Chinese. And it is when I became a Tibetan Buddhist, which I remain.