Jon Wyatt Photography - detail
Detail from above image
The visitor to present-day Samoa is immediately confronted by swathes of vegetation that rise, several storeys high, from the roadsides. Comprising one single species - Merremia Peltata – this fast-growing invasive vine with broad, waxy leaves has smothered and killed more than 60% of Samoa's native forest. Engulfing everything in its path, the contours of the rising carpet of vines eerily emulate the topography of the fault line on the seafloor map. The vines surge over the landscape in the shape of a vast breaking wave, an inundation of vegetation and a striking echo of the tsunami.
The relief map of the Pacific seafloor is shown as part of the project and inspired the final look of the photographs. Generated from raw geographical survey data, similar relief shading techniques have been applied to the RGB values of the photographs. The resulting ‘contour maps’ visually blend the topography of the ruptured fault line with the ‘tsunami’ of vegetation.