This beautiful book – A Stray Liana – containing three-hundred-and-forty-five-pages, three-quarters of which are spectacular photographs, chronicles an odyssey spanning more than thirty-years, through some of Australia’s most remote and traditional Indigenous homelands and into the heart of the world’s oldest rainforest.
In Australia’s tropical north-east, about the sixteenth parallel, a great global treasure possesses the richest portion of what has been ranked as the second-most irreplaceable natural and mixed World Heritage site currently included on the World Heritage List. The adjoining portion of Great Barrier Reef and at its nexus, the world’s most diverse mangrove community, compound this fantastic fusion of World Heritage wonders into Nature’s Masterpiece.
Living amongst inordinate rainforest complexity, human inhabitants are rewarded with phenomenal beauty and vitality, through exquisite expressions of order, functionality and purpose. Human inhabitancy provides an unrivalled resource for capturing this phenomena and an ever-increasing capacity to act upon the life-interests of this unique resourcefulness. Beauty and vitality play an informative role within the human pursuit of insight and understanding, to an extent that is only possible for the human inhabitant and for every additional insight and understanding, the memory of the thing is also enriched with emotional reward, encouraging increased attentiveness. In evolutionary terms, the uniqueness of this facility resonates with human purpose and without human inhabitancy, a natural environment is robbed of the sole faculty that could otherwise apprehend the greater dimensions of beauty and vitality and properly respond to their aspirational interests.
A multitude of organisms communicate chemically to distinguish themselves individually, as members of a like-kind and to define position and willingness to relate. An ecological overture plays across the landscape, triggering human sensitivity into corresponding neural accord, to underpin language formation and the storage and recall requirements necessary for a successful human inhabitancy. As every natural landscape expresses a different chemical conversation, so do its human inhabitants develop a uniquely conforming environmental vernacular.