B E L A N G L O
Since the discovery of seven brutally murdered backpackers at Belanglo State Forest in the early 1990s, Belanglo has been etched into our collective national psyche. This violent part of its history has become the most dominant memory associated with the area, and continues to cast its long and sinister shadow, almost three decades later.
This landscape – simultaneously so hostile and deeply intriguing – is ripe for artistic investigation.
A group of seven emerging Australian artists with diverse practices and life experiences recently spent time in Belanglo, responding to the site, its history and its future. Their work explores tensions between the past and present, life and death, culture and nature, with the resulting artworks contributing to a reimagining of Belanglo, revealing new ways of interpreting this landscape and its place in Australian culture.
Zak Tilley’s paintings and drawings explore Belanglo’s rich Indigenous history and thriving native flora and fauna, juxtaposed with its dark history, folk law, and an environmentally detrimental pine forestry industry. He captures scenes of beautiful, scrubby, rough Australian bush, contrasted with an undeviating line of tall and narrow pines, which is symbolic of the foreign and unnerving past that haunts Belanglo State Forest.