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Common in Folklore

Words and images by Pearce Leal

By July 30, 2021May 10th, 2022The Collective

The Flying Fox plays a significant role in sustaining Australia’s ecosystems through pollinating flowers and dispersing seeds as they forage for native flora. Flying Foxes are highly mobile, flying up to 40 km from their camps at night to feed. They are the only indigenous animals that pollinate native forests at night — when most Australian flora needs to be pollinated. With seasonal changes, they travel hundreds of kilometres to follow the flowering and fruiting food sources. Being a migratory and nomadic keystone species, many plants and animals rely on the Flying Fox to survive and prosper. Their unrelenting decline is a clear and present result of climate collapse and is emblematic of Australia’s ‘canary in the coal mine’.

Common in Folklore is an ongoing body of work that examines the ecology of the Flying Fox. Shifting between a traditional documentary framework and a contemplative space, the work attempts to draw correlations between the daily routine of the Flying Foxes and humans.

Pearce Leal

Pearce (b.1993) is a photographer based in Naarm (Melbourne).

His research and practice explore the interrelationships between humans and non-humans. He utilises traditional documentary practices, found imagery and intervention in an effort to engage viewers with their own perceptions of the non-human.

In addition to his photographic practice, he works as a photography guide, accompanying and teaching photography enthusiasts while visiting locations of their desire. 

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