2019 — Andamooka, Australia
About this series
The Sand That Ate The Sea is an intertextual work documenting the South Australian Opal mining town, Andamooka.
It was undertaken over 4 years and is presented in multiple formats; narrative film, music video, photography, and installation.
The South Australian desert is a mystical place – millennia ago it was an ocean, and opalised aquatic dinosaur fossils are still found in the dirt there today. It is home to an arid land and deep, old magic. It is a place of endless sweeping salt flats and undulating flat red earth.
This is where the frontier is, and the last of the great Australian frontiersmen call it home. The land is a stolen land, and a cursed land –and the magic of that wound has a unique way of working on the people that are born there new, and those who came before.
Photographer: Matthew Thorne
Based in: Berlin, Germany
Matthew Thorne is an Australian film director and photographer whose work is focused around the relationship between community, land, and time – especially examining the mysticism of Australia and Australians. Matthew’s work captures real people and experiences through a composed, dreamlike lens. Often mixing life’s authentic characters and stories with fiction, myth and performance.
Recent work includes; Dipped In Black an intertextual film and photographic project funded by the South Australian Film Commission and Adelaide Film Festival. Created with initiated Aboriginal man and artist Derik Lynch, the film explores in dream and memory his childhood growing up in the central Australian desert.
The Sand That Ate The Sea, an intertextual film and photographic project documenting the land, community, and mysticism of Andamooka an Opal mining town in South Australia.
Positive Movements, a short documentary series made with Australian visual artist Hego, about the positive messages of two community groups; the Positive Movement marching band in Strawberry Mansions, Philadelphia and Wheelie Wayne of 12 O’Clock Boys fame in Baltimore.
Other work includes photography for Nick Cave and the Badseed’s album Ghosteen, additional unit direction and photography for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, and photography on Justin Kurzel’s feature film True History Of The Kelly Gang.
Matthew’s first photography book For My Father, of photos taken in Japan with his father in the week before he died, was published in 2018 via art book press Palm*, London. His photos also accompany the Spanish language translation of Kenneth Cook’s iconic Australian novel Wake In Fright by Sajalín Editors, Barcelona.
Matthew’s work is in collection and has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery London, National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Perth Centre for Photography, and the Melbourne Centre for Contemporary Photography. His films and photography have been nominated and awarded at the Perth International Film Festival, Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, Australian Photography Awards, Australian Directors Guild Awards, Young Director Award, OneShow, Cannes Lions, LIA, ARIA Music Awards, Berlin Music Video Awards, AIM Independent Music Awards, the St Kilda Film Festival, and FlickerFest.
Matthew currently lives between Berlin, Melbourne and Adelaide.
2021 Salon / Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (Group Exhibition)
2020 Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize / National Portrait Gallery, London (Group Exhibition)
2020 Love In The Time Of COVID 19 / Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (Group Exhibition)
2020 Love In The Time Of COVID 19 / Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide (Online Group Exhibition)
2019 CLICK / Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne (Group Exhibition)
2019 CLIP / Centre for Photography, Perth (Group Exhibition)
2019 Queer Culture / KAKE, Berlin (Group Exhibition)
2019 The Sand That Ate The Sea / Sun Studios, Sydney (Solo Exhibition)
2019 Gaib / Tinning Street Presents, Melbourne (Solo Exhibition)
2018 The Sand That Ate The Sea / 222 Rosslyn Gallery, Melbourne (Solo Exhibition)
2018 Salon / Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (Group Exhibition)
2017 For My Father / m2 Gallery, Sydney (Solo Exhibition)
2016 The Real Housewives of Neukölln / The Club, Berlin (Solo Exhibition)
2020 Stories Journal / Australian Photography Awards
2018 For My Father / Palm* (UK), ISBN: 978-0-9934450-4-0