The Balliang Tree

The Balliang Tree series began in August 2016 as heavy clouds were breaking over it and I couldn’t help feeling we’d both had the same kind of day. I began to wonder if we’d both had the same kind of year, so I continued to photograph the tree over the next twelve months to see where it would lead.

I was taken on a journey. A dry summer with overbearing heat, a lush and productive spring, fires in April and all manner of cloud formations morphing together as time slowed down. However the journey was also within.

Over time, the series came to reflect on the idea that some things in life will change while others remain the same. You may find something else inside, but for me this series poses the question ‘Where am I headed?’ a question I was grappling with at the time. I’ve moved on from that place now and have the tree to thank in part. I will continue to visit when I can and watch the world go by.

Behind the scenes…
The Balliang Tree series began in August, which may not be conventional but feels right anyway given it’s the month that I was born. You may notice the tree shows different gestures month by month, this was a result of photographing from different angles to align the tree and sky behind. The images have been edited to reflect my thoughts and experiences over the year.

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Balliang Tree August

Balliang Tree August
Storms pass, but over time they leave their mark. And so it is with life. I passed the tree as heavy clouds were about to break and couldn’t help feeling we’d both had the same kind of day.

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Balliang Tree September

The Balliang Tree
Skies alighten, growth surrounds.

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Balliang Tree October

The Balliang Tree
Life unfolds before me.

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Balliang Tree November

Balliang tree November
At times I’ve watched the shifting light for hours, yet only minutes seem to pass.

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Balliang Tree December

Balliang Tree December
I could watch the fields change year after year, only to find them back where they started.

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Balliang Tree January

Balliang Tree January
In the heat of summer

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Balliang Tree February

Balliang Tree February
Some days are a little foggy.

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Balliang Tree March

Balliang Tree March
The ever changing landscape.

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Balliang Tree April

Balliang Tree April
Paddocks in the area had been burning off for weeks. It was pure luck to catch this scene at dusk as the last of the flames still lingered.

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Balliang Tree May

Balliang Tree May
I’ve realised that being in the landscape brings experiences I would never anticipate. It’s usually worth stepping out to make the most of them.

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Balliang Tree June

Balliang Tree June
A quiet winter evening.

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Balliang Tree July

Balliang Tree July
In the midst of life.

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John with Balliang tree
Me with the Balliang tree

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