The map of Atlantis
19 Apr 1961 -
In 1989 Lyndell Brown & Charles Green began to work together in a lifetime collaboration. Both artists were painters before turning to photographic montage in order to better express their ideas about contemporary art practice and the nature of memory. After some years of experimentation they have settled on using all their skills as a base from which to work in order to utilise the effects of photography to its fullest.
The artists describe their work as 'ghostly spirit-photographs'. It is as though the various chemical processes used allow for a slippage and leakage as one image in the montage flows into the other – rather as one might wake slowly from a brilliant dream into bright sunlight. Their art has an archaic quality because there is no irony in the use of images from disparate sources. The endlessness and disorder of the archives from which they draw results in work which is constantly charged with the pleasures of discovery and rediscovery.
‘The map of Atlantis’ brings together the artists' many and various concerns in one jewel-like image.1 Nothing is what it seems yet the conjunctions between images are highly evocative: the power and danger of exploration; ideas to do with reconciliation and renewal; the conundrums of life and death in an American western movie; and Robert Smithson’s theories of entropy and exhaustion.
Lyndell Brown wrote in 2003 that 'we all hold memories of fate and arcadia in our heads without the aid of ancient mnemonic systems'.2 ’The map of Atlantis’ makes manifest the desire to examine these memories and make them tangible (though never fixed) through the power of the photograph.
1. Lyndell Brown & Charles Green acknowledge photographer Melanie Russell's 'Man and baby' 2003, which inspired a section of 'The map of Atlantis'.
2. Brown L 2003, ‘Lyndell Brown and Charles Green: Arcadia’, Faculty Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne
© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007
light jet print on Duraclear film
104.0 x 107.0 cm image/sheet; 112.0 x 115.0 x 5.9 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program 2005
Not on display
Charles Green + Lyndell Brown acknowledge photographer Melanie Russell's Man and baby 2003, which provided the inspiration for a section of the painted source of The map of Atlantis
Shown in 1 exhibition
Tranquillity: Rose Farrell, George Parkin, Lyndell Brown and Charles Green, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 May 2005–19 Jun 2005
Referenced in 2 publications
George Alexander, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Tableaux - memento mori - screen culture', pg.313-335, Sydney, 2007, 319, 334 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Tranquillity, Sydney, 2005, cover (colour illus.).