about the book
Olegas Truchanas stands quietly among the twentieth century’s most influential wilderness photographers … subtly but surely he crafted the modern frame through which we now interpret the beauty and value of Tasmania’s wild places.
Olegas Truchanas, a Lithuanian émigré, is remembered not only as one of the fathers of Tasmanian wilderness photography, but also as a conservationist, a thinker and an adventurer. Devoting years to campaigning passionately to save Lake Pedder from its eventual flooding in 1972, Olegas and those closest to him – including members of a small group of Tasmania’s landscape artists known as the ‘Sunday Group’ – paved the way for later Tasmanian conservation successes.
In this beautifully designed book, Pedder Dreaming: Olegas Truchanas and a lost Tasmanian wilderness, author Natasha Cica quietly evokes the man, the time and the place. Having long been inspired by Truchanas’ elegant and generous spirit, as well as those closest to him, Cica spent a significant number of years researching and writing Pedder Dreaming. According to Cica, ‘Olegas’s enduring legacy and that of the Sunday Group stretches far beyond the photographic, the political or even the personal’.
In retelling their moving story, Cica highlights the values underpinning the art and activism of Olegas and his friends, offering a departure point for readers to consider basic questions about how they choose to live their lives.
As former Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett comments in the book, ‘Back then the voice they used was about beauty and nature. Today we use statistics and numbers and residues and outfalls, and how many grams of dioxins, and how many jobs. Perhaps the content of the conversation has changed as well as the way in which it’s delivered – we have a much more content- hungry media cycle that really just wants a simple grab. I equate it almost to the death of the political speech as an art form – perhaps Truchanas and his crew were the equivalent of Chifley’s “Light on the Hill” speech.’ (pg. 227)
Stunningly illustrated with original Truchanas photographs from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and artwork from the Sunday Group (many of which have not previously been published and are still in private collections), Pedder Dreaming captures the raw beauty, vulnerability and oft-times brutality of the Tasmanian wilderness.
This exquisite keepsake and inspiring artifact will appeal to anyone interested in Tasmania, in wilderness areas and beautiful landscapes, in our connections with the environment, in progressive political movements, and in our culture.