Harriet SHARP

Diamantina

Heading west from the Queensland coast across the Great Dividing Range, the Australian Outback is truly – in the well-worn words of the Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar- ‘a sunburnt country’. The Diamantina is a land of extremes; searing hot days and freezing nights, flood and drought, the wide red desert and glorious space as far as the eye can see. Miles of ochre landscape touching a smouldering sky are interrupted by vast sand dunes and low scrub. The Diamantina covers 95,000 square kilometres, yet it is home to just 11 cattle stations and only 300 residents. The only way to grasp any perspective of this ancient terra firma is to accept that its vast semi-arid expanse encompasses everything ‘out the back’.

For some, this landscape is nothing more than mile after mile of visual tedium and living within such sublime isolation is a limited life. For others, this abyss is a true frontier country to be witnessed, its never-ending lands providing a sense of place and liberation. This project covers and explores a vast amount of the Diamantina’s landscape, engaging with romantic notions of our relationship to the land and documents its places and people and their sense of identity in one of the most remote locations on the planet.