day trip to Mantung

I made a day  trip into the South Australian mallee along the Karoonda Highway on Tuesday. Elders Weather website said that  there would be rain,  cloud and sunshine on that day–conditions that are  more congenial for my style of photography than the blues skies and sunshine that was forecast  for the next 5 days including Easter.   The dryland region along the  Karoonda Highway  was new territory for me,  as I’d only… Read More

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

de-population

People are leaving the countryside and moving to the more prosperous towns and cities. As young people depart, they leave small towns and hamlets of empty houses and shuttered shops, of closed schools and cafes, and a greying population.

February road trip: Parilla

It was an opportunistic scoping trip. I needed to reconnect with the project after Tasmania, to explore the towns along the Mallee Highway, to reconnect with people in Murrayville, and to assess whether I needed to camp for several days to do the large format photography that I had in mind.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2017: Fringe

From what I can judge, it looks as if  the Ballarat International Foto Biennale  2017 (BIFB17) is starting to come together. It has a online public space as the new website has gone live.    However, there is nothing yet  about the photographers who comprise  the core programme,  what the 2017 Biennale is trying to achieve in relation to contemporary Australian photography, or what the issues the  symposiums and talks will address. My… Read More

painting the silos

One innovative  representation of the Victorian Mallee that I came across whilst on the Hopetown phototrip  in 2016  was the murals that were being  painted on the silos throughout  the Victorian  north-west Mallee. One  notable example was the mural on GrainCorp’s disused silo at Brim,  which  had been  painted by the Brisbane street artist Guido van Helten  in collaboration with the local community. This site  has become a tourist icon in the Wimmera,  judging by the number… 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

Mallee abstractions

My experimentation with photographing in black and white film and with industrial abstractions whilst on the Hopetoun Mallee trip in 2016 was not very successful.

where photography meets philosophy

What I wanted to avoid was a melancholy interpretation; namely, photographing the Mallee was a form of nostalgic mourning for a form of life that has passed away.

Antecedents

Whilst I have been working on images to build up my digital and film galleries   I have been searching for some Australian antecedents to my documentary approach to photography  for the Mallee Routes project. Who has been here before? What approach  to  documentary photography did they take? Is there a  body of work that exists in the archives? Or do the archives mostly consist of vernacular photography   as the history gallery is… Read More