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
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.
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
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
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 or the Victorian State Library. 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… Read More
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
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
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 first four black and white images are from my archives, and they made in the 1980s. The cameras used are primarily medium and large format (5×7 and 5×4).
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.
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.