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Mythology of Place - Homage to James K Baxter - © 1993-94 - Lloyd Godman - Lawrence Jones - Mythology of Place - Book now available

Photographs of the Brighton Coastal Otago World of James K Baxter

cave big rock, brighton dunedin, lloyd godman

Homage to Baxter  Resonance II - Composite image - inside of the Cave on Big Rock, Brighton Bay - 1994

four selenium toned silver gelatine prints - Lloyd Godman - This image is mapped, click on image section to enlarge - Full size image


Resonance II

During the past 20 years while looking for surf, I had climbed over much of Big Rock and knew of a strange hole-like structure at the very end and also a large hollow opening on the Ocean View side of the Rock. I was convinced that one of these must be the cave that Baxter spoke of and yet when I spoke to a long time Brighton resident, Tommy Thompson, there was a third opening that was less obvious and was indeed the cave that Baxter spoke of. On the other side behind a flax bush is an opening that leads to a small cave just large enough for an adult to crouch in. It provides a perfect view out over Brighton Bay towards the domain and yet conceals the occupant. It appeared so hidden that Baxter could well have been the last person to reside inside, and yet I visited this cave twice and between the two visits there had been another occupier. For strewn there, near the back of the passage was the evidence of another juvenile user: a bunch of burnt matches and a cigarette packet. It was a very small space and very difficult to take photographs in as I could only guess at the image the camera saw. It was a darkened chamber, with an aperture to the world outside. Compared to the bright daylight on beach there was little light inside and I used a small flash to bounce light off the back of the cave and give some illumination to the entrance. 

Map of Brighton Bay indicating where the image Resonance II was taken from

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James K Baxter - Poem references

I climbed up to a hole in a bank in a hill above the sea, and there fell into the attitude of listening out of which poems may arise....


The Cave   1948  CP

The whole weight of the hill hung over me.
Gladly I would have stayed there and been hidden
From every beast that moves beneath the sun,


The Party   1966  CP

A kind of a cave - still on the brandy,
and coming in from outside,