Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language

Article Title

Coffin Bay


Dwelling, Belonging, Nostalgia, Solastalgia, Sense of Place

This landscape, photographed at Coffin Bay, contributes towards a solution to Glenn Albrecht’s solastalgia, which he terms soliphilia. It expresses my concern that we live too much in the shadow of fear and helplessness, needing to reclaim our relinquished responsibility for our own condition. To do this, we must first realise that we are heading towards a demise of our own making. This image metaphorically depicts exactly that, by suggesting that the highway of denial of our ancient rhythms, which carves its way through nature’s own warnings, careers relentlessly towards the inevitable edge.

In the end, Albrecht’s neologisms are only words, but they are intended to inspire action, appealing us to work together to protect and maintain our home environments, providing “a universal motivation to achieve sustainability”. Sometimes it takes a moment of melancholy to bring this to the fore, which my photograph endeavours to elicit. If this image inspires reflection on the benefits of a human societal way of life in harmony with a sustainable environment, then ultimately that melancholy is a positive experience, which can help bring balance to a disharmonious world.

Author Biography

Jamie Holcombe is currently Senior Lecturer in Photography & Digital Imaging at Charles Sturt University. He has a practice-led PhD in Fine Art Photography, and is an established regional artist with an extensive exhibition record, both as an exhibitor and a curator. He has been a finalist in numerous Australian national awards, most recently including the MAMA National Photography Prize, The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Awards. Jamie’s recent work investigates the concept of melancholy in the photograph, explored through urban landscapes taken across regional Australia.


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