Hello. My name is David Peart. I am an Australian landscape and commercial photographer. In 2014, after more than 25 years working and living overseas, I returned to my native country. I was immediately struck by two things: Firstly, birdsong. I was rudely awoken at 6 in the morning by a raucous chorus of birds heralding the rising sun. On a global scale, this is actually quite a rare thing. But in Australia, pretty much, no matter where you are, city or bush, it happens every day. It used to happen in other countries, but not so much any more. We are incredibly fortunate that we can still experience it here. Which is the second thing that struck me.
As the global population grows, and so does industry and our sprawling cities, most of the world’s wild places are being lost, very rapidly. In Australia, we have managed (so far) to preserve a lot of this; even in the midst of capital cities we can still easily find forest, wild animals, and yes, lots of birds. In mainland China, where I spent the last 5 years before I returned home, there are few birds in the cities - they cannot survive the pollution which is regularly dozens of times the international safe limit; trees are relatively few and many of them need to be washed down to survive in the poison air; the dust in Chinese city air is largely a mixture of coal dust and top soil - it settles in a thick layer on anything that is left stationary for any length of time; people walk the streets wearing gas masks. And, in some places, there are children who have never seen blue skies.
When I returned to Australia, the country was in the midst of a debate over the continuation of coal mining and, incredibly, whether or not climate change was real. What I saw was an island of the most incredibly, eye-wateringly stunning natural landscapes in the ocean of a world stripped of natural beauty and poisoned by our own striving to achieve.
I felt that since most Australians have not had the privilege of the wide international exposure that I have, many are unaware that we are effectively the custodians of some of the last and most unique natural landscapes in the world, and therefore I had a duty to bring that awareness to them. So, I started documenting our wild places. What you see here are the fruits of that documentation.
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