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Kay Gordon

Photo Essays > Tunnel Vision

Norfolk Island is renowned for its natural beauty and its unique history.  Many of the remnant buildings are examples of beautiful Georgian architecture but also represent a brutal and inhumane period of British history.

During a recent visit I wondered about the sense of isolation for both the military personnel and the convicts, the sense of hopelessness and feeling of desperation amongst those incarcerated here and the life journeys that have brought people to this island since Captain Cook landed here almost 240 years ago.

I sought out different ways to frame my images.  These frames are my ‘tunnels’ for the purposes of this portfolio.


  • Lone Pine at sunrise from the old Salt House. This Norfolk Island pine is thought to be 650 years old witnessing Captain Cook’s landing in 1774.

  • Restored Georgian buildings in Quality Row.

  • The Old Military Barracks, Quality Row.

  • Originally the Commissariat Store it was converted to All Saints Church by the Pitcairners when their church was destroyed by a cyclone in 1874.

  • The view beyond the gaol to The Store, an impregnable building in Slaughter Bay.

  • The sense of despair in solitary confinement, re-enacted.

  • The Norfolk Island flag flies in Quality Row flanked by Norfolk Island pines and symbolising modern "Norfolk Island as a distinct and separate settlement".

  • A tunnel of Moreton Bay figs symbolising the road ahead for so many people committed to this island?

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