Lignite examines ecology and place in the modern industrial landscape of the Latrobe Valley - a landscape which has been shaped by decades of environmental discourse and mistreatment due to the region’s extended coal mining history. The work observes the manifestations of human activity within the landscape; often juxtaposing the forms of built and natural sceneries with observations of subtle intricacies - found amongst the Latrobe Valley’s lesser explored fringes. Lignite engages its subject matter with a rhetoric that looks at human accountability within the spaces we occupy. Joshua’s work finds itself contextualised within a history of mine fires that have led to an increased risk of health-issues and mortality amongst the population – most notably, the Hazelwood fire of 2014.
Joshua O. Smith focuses on ecologically driven documentary work that relates to concepts of place. Currently, Joshua's practice is situated within the contemporary Australian landscape and national identity - often drawing inspiration from the ways in which humans coexist with their surrounding environment.