“Vegetable Giants of the West:” Plant Ethics in the Photography of Australian Karri Forests, 1890 to the Present

Author(s): 

John Charles Ryan

Full title: 
“Vegetable Giants of the West:” Plant Ethics in the Photography of Australian Karri (Eucalyptus Diversicolor) Forests, 1890 to the Present

Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia (JEASA), Vol.7 No.1, 2016.

 

John Charles Ryan

"Vegetable Giants of the West:" Plant Ethics in the Photography of Australian Karri (Eucalyptus Diversicolor) Forests, 1890 to the Present

 

Abstract: This article examines photographic representations of the karri trees of South-western Australia from colonial-era to contemporary times. In the context of the emerging field of plant ethics, I argue that photography is a vital medium for understanding and fostering ethical attitudes towards botanical life and, more specifically, towards old-growth trees. Whereas the earliest Australian images of karris focused on either the aesthetic or utilitarian value of the trees, contemporary photographers, exemplified by John Austin, demonstrate an acute concern for the ethical treatment of karri forests in the face of intense industrial pressures.

 

Keywords: plant ethics; landscape photography; karri eucalypts; Western Australia

 

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Copyright © John Charles Ryan 2016. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.

 

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