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These photographs were created for the exhibition What The Sea Never Told, Hazewinkel’s highly personal meditation on the 1892 drowning of fifteen young men from his boyhood home town.
Highly reflective and richly chromatic (characteristics of the Ilfochrome process), these photographs seduce and caution, they evoke a profound sense of beauty while an undertow of something darker pulls us in.
What The Sea Never Told centred around a sailing disaster that occurred on Port Phillip Bay on 21st May 1892 in which fifteen young men (members of the local football team) lost their lives while returning by sea from a match against local rivals the Mordialloc Bloods. Commissioned by the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and realised through collaborations with the local historical society, sailing and fishing communities from around Port Phillip Bay and football clubs (large and small) from around Australia, the project represents Hazewinkel’s ongoing interest in the contemporary legacies of forgotten histories.
The photographs were originally presented alongside a 15 minute, cinema-scale, multi-channel moving image projection filmed at, below and just above the surface of the sea. It is tempting to consider that the title of the photographs refers to the precise coordinates of the tragedy, however that is not the case. Like many aspects of the historic sailing disaster (which had profound social implications for the fledgling community of Mornington) its precise location remains uncertain. For Hazewinkel it is the unanswered questions surrounding the tragedy that are the genesis for the way that the story continues to haunt the collective consciousness of Mornington; the way it remains just beneath the town's collective psychic skin.
The title of these photographs refers the position in the Bass Strait (where in uncharacteristically calm conditions) these images were made. Although this geo-data does not refer to the precise location of the disaster, these coordinates make oblique reference to the area of sea from where the erratic weather pattern considered responsible for the tragedy emerged.
Watch the 15 minute multi channel video What The Sea Never Told here
For information about the exhibition What The Sea Never Told please visit the exhibition page here