In 1972 Lake Pedder in Tasmania’s untamed south-west was flooded to build a dam. Wilderness photographer Olegas Truchanas, who had spent years campaigning passionately to save the magnificent fresh water lake, had finally lost. The campaign, the first of its kind in Australia, paved the way for later conservation successes, and turned Truchanas into a Tasmanian legend.
Pedder Dreaming quietly evokes the man, the time and the place. Truchanas, a Lithuanian émigré, is a stalwart adventurer, loving family man, activist, thinker, survivor and artist. Australia on the cusp of environmental awareness is the time, and Lake Pedder and the south-west of Tasmania, the place – wild, pristine, wondrous.
Through those who were closest to him, Truchanas emerges, as does his influence on early conservation in Tasmania, and the small group of landscape artists, the Sunday Group, who admired his passion for the lake and were inspired by it. Stunningly illustrated with original Truchanas photographs from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and artwork from the Sunday Group, Pedder Dreaming captures the brutality, raw beauty and vulnerability of the Tasmanian wilderness and the legacy of one man who had the vision to fight for it.
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Natasha Cica is the Director of the Inglis Clark Centre for Civil Society at the University of Tasmania. She has written widely about culture and politics, including for the Age, the Australian and the Australian Financial Review. Natasha has worked as a lawyer and parliamentary adviser, and at public interest think tanks in Europe and Australia. She founded the consultancy Periwinkle Projects and lives near Hobart,Tasmania.