Scott Leggo PL, Australia, 2021
Book design Kristin Thomas
What better time to produce a coffee table option for travellers? This book is sumptuously full of photographs of magnificent Australian landscapes – it could be either a temptation to travel or a substitute for it in times of restricted movement like those pressed on us by COVID-19.
The book begins with a visual list of contents in the form of six double page spreads which are then repeated as text – coast, mountains and forests, country, outback, waterways and snow. It’s unstintingly an homage to the beauty of the natural world and a reminder of the geographical vastness and diversity of the Australian continent.
Scott Leggo has captured views of places both familiar and not so, but he has them at their best. Of course, this is not merely happenstance – there’s a lot of waiting involved in being somewhere at the right moment, as any naturalist/photographer will attest. The light is crucial for this art and it’s best at the beginnings and ends of days when the casual visitor ha usually gone home or not yet arrived.
Scott Leggo runs his own photographic gallery in Canberra ACT (Australia) and visitors can find many of the images in this book as wall works there. His body of work is extensive and the book provides an option for collection on a smaller scale but also for those unwilling to settle on just one image as a favourite. His masterful composition, control of light and an eye at once for detail and for the vast make for a visual feast in this publication.
The book is cleverly laid out – through the mixing up the grand double spreads with a variety of sizes and shapes of image, the viewer is afforded some intellectual space – after all, it’s hard to take in too much majesty at once. This is a book that invites us to linger in its pages, understanding the awe the artist has felt in situ and has brought home for us through his lens.
At $75 AUD, Australia – A Photographic Journey is armchair travel at its best and most affordable. It would make a worthy edition to the home library but would also serve beautifully as a gift for visiting diplomatic or government dignitaries – I hope it finds its way into both places.
We have plenty for which to be grateful in the magnificence and beauty of the continent on which we live. Books like this one serve to remind us of that.
For information about Scott’s work: https://www.scottleggo.com/
The Scott Leggo Gallery is located at 45 Jardine Street, Kingston, ACT 2604, open 10am – 5.30pm Mon to Fri; 10am – 3pm Sat and Sun.
Thank you to Scott Leggo for the review copy and a delightful chat on site.