The Mallee and the pastoral

Photographing the rural landscapes of  the Mallee  country  needs to be distinguished from the idyllic  pastoral tradition in Australian visual culture  that in the Heidelberg tradition   emphasised the tamed farmland with its  abundance of natural resources.  The  artists represent this  in the almost mandatory blue and gold palette. This  form of pastoralism  refers to representations of a rural landscape during the European colonial settlement of the land, with its sheep grazing and cropping,… Read More

empty landscapes

This part of the South Australia Mallee is an empty landscape. It has been de-populated. An example of the process of depopulation in this landscape the East Murray Area School, which used to have around 270 pupils in the 1960s and it now has 19 pupils.

State of Hope: where’s the Mallee?

The latest issue of  the Griffith Review is No 55  and it  is about  the future of a  post-colonial South Australia. The issue is entitled  State of Hope and  it is edited by Julianne Schultz and Patrick Allington and  it consists of  short essays and memoir, fiction pieces and poetry, and photo stories.  Authors include Robyn Archer, John Spoehr, Peter Stanley, Angela Woollacott, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Chris Wallace, Dennis Atkins, Nicholas Jose, and Ali Cobby Eckermann. This is an Adelaide and… Read More

wheat

The wheat was everywhere  whilst I was on the Hopetoun road trip.  I took a few 35mm snapshots  of the dryland wheat fields with my  old  film Leica (an M4-P) whilst I was on my way back to our  campsite at Hopetoun  from Sea Lake. I’d been to Lake Tyrrell  that afternoon to look for the remains of an old salt works butI didn’t have much luck. I just couldn’t find it. The… Read More

History Gallery

This archival gallery provides the historical context, and reference point,   for the contemporary images  in the other  Mallee Routes’ galleries. Most of these archival photos of the history of the Mallee were found in the National Library of Australia’s Trove collection. One  valuable resource in this archive is the Bill Boyd Photographic Collection in the Museum Victoria Collections.  Most of the vernacular photographs in the Boyd collection were taken between 1920 & 1928,  and  they… Read More

Carwarp

I have another  Mallee trip planned in early November with my base camp being  at Murrayville.  So I took the opportunity  whilst traveling along the Calder Highway between Ouyen and Mildura to rendezvous  with Judith Crispin  to  go to Lajamanu in the northern Tanami Desert to do a little exploring and photographic scoping. As I hadn’t been on the Calder Highway  before so I was interested in seeing what this part of… Read More

exhibition no. 1

We–Gilbert Roe, Eric Algra and myself-— are having an exhibition at the Atkins Photo Lab gallery  opening October 7th, 2016.  This is a  kick starter exhibition  for the project,  as it were. We each have an individual  section in the gallery for our images and a common space  of shared images. It will be minimal from my perspective–I have the least number of the images in the exhibition-  only 5 images— but I do have a number… Read More

Gary’s Film Gallery

The various images   in this  portfolio  are of the South Australian and Victorian Wimmera Mallee. They  have been taken with a variety of  film cameras over a number of years. The cameras used are are  primarily  medium and large format (5×7 and 5×4). The  first four black and white images are from my  archives.

Dust storm

Around lunch time whilst travelling south on the Mallee Highway I encountered a dust storm sweeping across the sun drenched agricultural landscape from the south west.

the first step

One notable aspect of the Mallee in the Murray-Darling Basin is that, apart from the various national parks, it primarily consists of agricultural landscapes, small towns, and minimal, scrappy native vegetation along the side of the roads.