1. Untitled (from the Plantation series),1996, Hand coloured Silver Gelatin print, 84 x 104 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, gift of the artist, 1997.
2. Mrs Naumenko, 2009, C Type print, 74 x 55 cm image, 94 x 75 cm sheet, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, purchased 2011.
3. Mr Kuscher, 2009, C Type print, 55 x 64 cm image, 75 x 84 cm sheet, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, gift of the artist, 2011.
Janina Green is a contemporary photographic artist born in Essen, Germany, in 1944. As a European immigrant, she arrived in Australia in 1949 with her family and grew up in Yallourn North. Whilst she is now based in Melbourne, Green’s childhood in Gippsland brings experiences that are integral to her practice.
Initially with a background in printmaking, Green took up photography in the 1980s, developing an interest in the medium when beginning her career in art teaching. Green was drawn not only to the processes of photography but the conceptual qualities, exploring notions of perspective as a woman. Green has explored many themes over her practice of more than 30 years, including motherhood, gender politics and theory, and domesticity.
Returning to Gippsland to recall her childhood, Green created the Plantation series. In this body of work, Green took many photographs around the Latrobe Vallery pine forest plantations – places which she explored in her youth. The work Untitled (1996) is from this series of black and white silver gelatin photographs, which were printed and coloured by hand using photographic dyes. A dirt track in the bottom right of this work leads to a factory in the distance beyond the pines.
Green is not only commenting on the environment and industrial and technological impact. With the plantation being an unnatural environment, there is a sense of unease and darkness in the artwork through the looming presence of the pines. It is a representation not of the landscape but of a psychological space. However, the image is evocative of memory, one that is foreboding of utilitarianism and control of the constructed landscape.
Green’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia and State Library of Victoria, and numerous regional galleries.