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Simone Green

Simone Green

PHOTO MEDIA

Artist biography

Simone Green

Simone Green is currently a second year student undertaking a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photo Media) at the Australian National University.

Her interest in photography started quite early, with her parents and grandmother taking photographs all the time, but Simone only decided to pursue photography as a career after her love of photography grew during later high school years.

Simone is interested in portraiture and landscape photography and using narrative in her work.

Artist statement

Title: Residual Memories

This series depicts some of the various convict sites which still exist all over New South Wales. It particularly focuses on those places where convicts considered to be the most serious offenders were sent and sentenced to hard labour.

Punishment was hard and usually involved mining and burning lime, mining coal and creating break waters and harbours. One of the locations I included in Residual Memories is, 'The Bogey Hole', located in Newcastle, New South Wales. The Bogey Hole was created using convict labour for the sole use of the commanding officer of Newcastle at the time. The intention behind its creation was to humiliate and belittle the convicts, who themselves were only allowed to bathe in the open harbour, as well as to provide a mammoth physical task, in the carving out of a solid stone cliff face.

The convict love tokens' display within the Australian Journeys gallery depicts the loss convicts felt when they were shipped away, most never seeing their families again. These small coins were a physical representation of the memories that convicts left behind. Similarly, some of the images in this series contain ghostly figures or visions of loved ones that the convicts left behind in their homeland. These 'visions' represent how the memory of these loved ones remained with the convicts long after they were shipped off to Australia. These images emphasise the seepage of memory into reality which convicts may have experienced during the tough days serving their lengthy sentences.

Title: 7 Years/Transportation

More than 160,000 convicts were sent to Australia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many for minor crimes, such as pickpocketing and shoplifting or even stealing a handkerchief. Some of the felons were as young as 13 and 14 years old and tens of thousands were in their late teens. The minimum sentence for even the most minor of crimes was seven years transportation, but due to the vast distances that convicts had to travel to Australia, the prospect of returning home was almost certainly impossible.

This series was inspired by a number of convict documents which I uncovered during my research for Residual Memories. These documents detailed individual convicts and their crimes. I recreated the images in the style of other convict identification photography and reproduced the files in a book.

Artist works

Title: Residual Memories
Medium: Inkjet print
Dimension: 297 x 420 mm, 14 images
Date: October 2010

A photo of the installed display of Simone Green's Residual Memories.

Title: 7 Years/Transportation
Medium: Inkjet print
Dimension: 150 x 90 mm, 18 images and hard cover book
Date: October 2010

A photo of Simone Green's series of convict style photographs mounted on a wall in two rows.

Artist inspiration

My work was inspired by the convict love tokens, from the Australian Journeys gallery. The tokens inspired me to look further into the lives of convicts in Australia in the early 1800s.

Convict token in the form of a circular copper disc stipple-engraved with 'THOMAS / LOCK / AGED 22 / TRANSPed / 10 Years" is impressed in side one, and "WHEN / THIS YOU / SEE / REMEMBER / ME WHEN / I AM FAR / FROM THE [sic]' is in side two.
Thomas Lock's convict token. Photo: Dragi Markovic.

Read more about the convict tokens

Collector and consultant Peter Lane detailed his research on convict tokens in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Alexander Mussen ambrotype and the Muriel McPhee trousseau.

audio_w15 Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio (MP3 42mb) 1:32:00