Hazy mountain landscapes sparsely punctuated with low-hanging clouds and trees mingle with the image of a lone dinosaur sculpture lying neglected in a park.
These are the scenes that mark Anywhere But Here, an exhibition by photographer Lisa Sorgini, who has merged pieces from two bodies of work, Lambent and An Isolated Object, in her new show at 1156 Gallery in Armadale.
Lambent is a collection of isolated, almost mystical landscapes taken throughout Australia and New Zealand. An Isolated Object, meanwhile, captures abandoned items and architecture throughout Europe, making for a poignant reminder of the memories that these sites of family vacations and transitory moments hold.
Despite the disparity in her subjects and locations, there is a common quality that runs throughout Anywhere But Here – the kind of fresh outlook of one who is viewing things for the first time and taking in every possible possible. It’s no surprise really, considering the almost nomadic nature of the photographer’s life. Sorgini explains her attraction to being in new places, whether overseas or wandering an unfamiliar street in her hometown, as a way to awake the senses.
“Since I can remember, I have loved the experience of seeing new things and being in new places,” she says. “My mother and I used to go driving on weekends when I was growing up and if we saw a new road we hadn't been down before we would take it, just to see what we could find.
“As an adult that curiosity remains and has been refined a little to be my biggest creative inspiration, though I am still trying to fully understand it.”
Born in Adelaide and raised on a farm on the north coast of New South Wales, Sorgini has lived in Sydney and Brisbane before finally setting up camp in Melbourne, where she currently resides. She admits coming home after time away can be just as good an experience.
“The comfort and repetition of everyday life contrasts so much with the timeless drifting of travel, and there is often a sense of melancholy at the return to regular life and any new perspectives can be a little difficult to apply,” muses Sorgini.
“With all of my work, before I click that shutter, I'm trying to find that jolt of feeling or emotion that I hope somehow translates aesthetically.”
That “jolt” translates quite directly to the viewer, as Sorgini’s images evoke that same wide-eyed sense of wonderment one experiences when encountering a new place.
Anywhere But Here will be showing at 1156 Gallery at 1156 High Street, Armadale from December 7 to 24.