Martin Edmond, Maggie Hall: 'Histories of the Future'
Martin Edmond is a writer of non-fiction, biography, poetry and screenplays. He has published book-length collections of poetry, and several non-fiction titles with a recent historical or biographical focus. He has been involved in theatre, and his career as a scriptwriter includes the screenplays for several award-winning feature films. Since the publication of Autobiography of My Father (1992), Martin Edmond’s many publications have included The Resurrection of Philip Clairmont (1999), Chronicle of the Unsung (2004), Waimarino County & other excursions (2007), Luca Antara: Passages in Search of Australia (2008), Zone of the Marvellous: In Search of the Antipodes (2009), The Supply Party: Ludwig Becker on the Burke and Wills Expedition (2009), and Dark Night: Walking with McCahon (2011), most published by Auckland University Press. Edmond has also generously supported smaller publishers, bringing out books with Bumper Books, Soap Box Press, Four Winds Press, Kilmog Press, Otoliths, The Holloway Press, and his current collection of essays Histories of the Future with Walleah Press.
A self-described flâneur, Martin Edmond wanders through the world fashioning bellelettrist prose from found objects, eccentric situations, dreams, music, art and memory. His references are modern and classical . . . this book is a panoply of fact, feeling and fantasy offering, from a rich variousness, an expansive range. As he says ‘There should be a tense called the present in the past’ – a desire that echoes the contrariety of the title Histories of the Future.
Martin Edmond is the closest thing we have to an Australasian Jorge Luis Borges and this book is a kind of Aleph: a point from which everything in the universe can be seen simultaneously— books, dreams, pictures, memories, bric-abrac. Every reader will confront here their own frissons of recognition. The photographs, by Maggie Hall, are perfect: sufficiently off on their own tangent to set up a counter-narrative to the prose, but tending round to the same set of atmospheres and obsessions.
Maggie Hall was born in Paddington, London, grew up in Canada and Australia and now lives in Newcastle, Australia. She is a performer, artist and animal lover. She has exhibited widely including 'TEXT ME' and the group exhibition 'BEYOND COLOUR', INSIDE OUTSIDE, 'not just collage' and 'THREE' at Newcastle's Gallery one3nine. Her recent exhibition 'The Beach' at the Tap Gallery, 259 Riley Street, Surry Hills, Sydney ran from 1st - 14th May 2017.
"I live in the city of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. It was founded more than two hundred years ago, as a convict settlement. Epochal changes are happening: the devastation of the natural world accelerates, the wreckage of a twentieth century industrial wasteland continues its decline. At this moment of closure and transition we are experiencing a period of extinction . . . the abandoned, the neglected, the despised, the condemned, those who will determine what happens . . . are the survivors. My neighbours bear witness every day of their lives to the destructive processes that surround us, this ‘human wreckage’ is testament to the forgotten and overlooked. Through religious belief and personal faith, through strength in adversity, through experience and built community, there is a hope and a knowledge that can survive any challenge. With intuition as my guide and an awareness of artistic tradition, I attempt to reveal presences that may give us clues as to what is real and unreal. I am not seeking a form of aesthetic contemplation, but a way of finding guidance. My photography is the documentation of this search, through which I express emotional realities primarily through the captured images of the lives we lead, and the environments in which we now live. Photographic evidence of present and past dilemmas and continuities . . . this is my determination."