This video portrait features Ray Aitchison, age 76. Born on the Derwent shore at Bridgewater and fishing the river all his life, Ray narrates memories and tales of the changing river environment. The project is born of a desire to engage with a ‘wise head’ who knows the Derwent River intimately, personally and with a long view.

Video artist Tess Campbell collaborated with river scientist Peter Davies to interview Ray and merge his words with archival footage. The result is a series of quiet, contemplative reflections and engagements with place. Two complementary but dissonant themes are explored: a ‘personal cultural surface’ of the Derwent (memories of people, fish and water) and inferred ‘under-currents’ (the legacies of vast industries such as paper production and hydroelectricity). Images courtesy of the Tasmanian Heritage and Archives Office.