I have been travelling to UNSW Fowlers Gap since 1995. I remember witnessing the curvature of the earth while sitting on a ‘jump- up’ and for a split second feeling as though I had witnessed the divine. One can experience the profound at Fowlers Gap. The light, the endless space, the stillness, the colour are all things that are hard to explain in words, but need to be experienced. Initially it can be daunting for an artist to comprehend this land in order to respond to it. How can any artist do it justice?
As an environmentalist and tree lover from a young age I started to identify with the lone trees and bushes that dot this arid landscape. In particular I wanted to draw attention to trees and bushes that are ignored, or at worst, destroyed by pastoralists, even though they are indigenous to this land.
"In Australia, Louise has been particularly interested in the Mulga Tree, found in the arid zone of far western NSW, with its umbrella like form and isolated existence. To date the photographs she has taken are always of singular, lone trees, which, through her manipulation and placement, she manages to imbue with a poetic resonance. Her process is similar to that of a painter, whereby she layers or glazes light onto specially chosen trees, that may otherwise have been disregarded and ignored; concentrating on its individual qualities or personality. This process draws out the tree, making it special, individualistic, even sacred."
The American Beamer-Schneider Professor of Ethics and Philosopher, Jeremy Bendik-Keymer has described my work as follows:
"Fowler-Smith's art is poised at the edge of the aesthetic, awaiting an ethical response. Her photographs of ephemerally transfigured trees are signs pointing to communal practices we -in the world of global art flows- have not yet developed. Equally, they are memorials for what we have lost - an ethos".