The Damming of Reynolds Creek

Photographic series created by Mandana Mapar, featuring Moogerah Dam landscape, Mount Moogerah (Mt Greville) and Moogerah Lake. Fassifern Valley, South East region of Queensland, Australia.

Damming Of Reynolds Creek MI and MIV  2002

The Damming Of Reynolds Creek photographs were taken at Moogerah Dam, Fassifern Valley Australia.

Type C colour photograph
Image 69 H X 68.5 W cm  Sheet 80.6 H X 80.6 W cm  Frame 84.2 H X 84.2 W cm  
Gift Of Patrick Corrigan AM 2012 donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program to the
National Gallery of Australia (NGA 2012.610).

These works were created as long exposures at Moogerah Dam in 2002 when it was at a critically low level after some years of drought. During a camping trip to Moogerah Dam near Boonah in Queensland I took a set of images on 35mm transparency slide film. The long exposures were taken during the sunset looking across the dam towards Main Range National park close to the Queensland and New South Wales border. Lake Moogerah, formed by Moogerah Dam, is a water supply and irrigation dam on Reynolds Creek, a tributary of the Bremer River in Southeast Queensland's Fassifern Valley. Moogerah comes from the aboriginal word Moojirah meaning home of the thunderstorm. During the mid-1990s dam levels declined to a low of 1% total capacity due to drought and that year in particular the cracked earth close to the camping and fishing areas was quite devastatingly dry. The dam reached 100% capacity due to rainfall associated with the 2010–2011 Queensland floods, with water flowing over the spillway for the first time since 1991 on 6 December 2010. Having been brought up in the heart of Tehran in my early years, my parents always felt it was important to take us to the mountains in the north west and south east of Iran; this pursuit of nature for the whole family blossomed in New Zealand where I spent my formative years between the ages of 7-14. By the time we moved to Queensland in 1993 camping and hiking were an important and cherished time for us all. The environmentalist in me grew throughout my high school years and by 2001/2002 I was keenly aware of the effect that the Queensland drought was having on the landscape. In the second image (titled MII) I have used a fire stick to write my own name in Farsi from one side of the image to the other (the letters are not decipherable however). The opportunity to take the photographs and inscribe Farsi text along the horizon was serendipitous and the photographs were taken using a Pentax MZ50 camera.

Moogerah Dam drought conditions, waters edge 2002