Trent Parke is one of the most innovative photographers of his generation. He is known for his poetic, often darkly humorous photography that offers an emotional and psychological portrait of his home country of Australia – from the southern outback to its busy beaches. Though rooted in documentary, his works sit between fiction and reality, exploring themes of identity, place, and family life.

This 2019 photograph is from the project The Crimson Line; a meditation on the way industry is affecting the environment.

Like much of Parke’s earlier work, The Crimson Line uses light and framing to turn the everyday into the otherworldly. Photographing throughout the year – only in the first and last minutes of daylight – in his native Adelaide, the photographer plays with the reds and yellows that appear during these fleeting moments. Parke’s crimson-lit images of factories, steam clouds, and industrial machinery transform commonplace scenes into something alien and dystopian. “I watched a lot of space films when I was making Crimson,” the photographer explains. “Oblivion, LIFE, Ad Astra, Interstellar, Martian, A.I Artificial Intelligence, and, of course, reruns of the classics: Blade Runner, Contact, 2001: A Space Odyssey. I am a sci-fi guy…fantasy and science fiction… not reality or documentary…I like to escape reality…”

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