Exhibiting Mallee Routes at the wonderful Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery in Victoria opened on Friday the 23rd March, was a great experience. The exhibition was the result of a years work photographing the South Australian and Victorian Mallee by Eric, Gilbert and myself Mallee after our initial exhibition at Atkins Photo Lab in Adelaide in late 2017. It was a successful opening with Mark Thomson giving an excellent opening speech based around… Read More
The second exhibition of the Mallee Routes project is coming up. It will be at the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery from 23rd of March to the 6th of May 2018. The exhibition represents new work, namely work that has been made by Eric Algra, Gilbert Roe and myself since our initial exhibition at the Atkins Photo Lab’s gallery in late 2017. The Swan Hill exhibition will include a historical dimension… Read More
The history of water in the 20th century was one of piping water to the storage dams located across the region via the earthen, gravity-fed Wimmera Mallee Domestic and Stock Channel System. This system extended from the Grampians in central western Victoria to Ouyen and Manangatang in the north, Underbool in the west and Korong Vale in the east.
When I was at the Morgan photo camp with Gilbert Roe in early November I noticed that the stretch of land around Morgan and Waikerie was increasingly being transformed by the ongoing clearing of the original mallee scrub and its replacement by irrigation in the form of irrigated agriculture. This is a landscape is one of red sands, the Murray River and gum trees and the horticultural crops now being grown appear to… Read More
I leave Encounter Bay tomorrow for a 5 day photocamp at Morgan in South Australia with Gilbert, even though it is a little late in the year to be photographing in the SA Mallee. I haven’t been able to get away on a phototrip to the Mallee as I’d previously planned, due to the need to kickstart the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book. I am hoping that the weather in early November is… Read More
Can trauma be connected to a topographic approach to photographing the Mallee? I have been mulling over this whilst I put the Mallee Routes project aside for a month or so, so that I could work on the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book, which is to be produced by Adam Dutkiewicz and myself for Moon Arrow Press in 2018. The Adelaide Photography project has been kickstarted, as it were, and the break has been beneficial. The… Read More
This scoping photo of silos at Birchip in the Wimmera Mallee is a deadpan image of an unexpressive and repetitive subject that appears impersonal, blank and boring. It repeats the same idea–silos in the landscape— in different ways. It avoids the artistic subjectivity and narrativity represented by photojournalism. There is no event in the picture and there is little human interest.
In late July Gilbert Roe and myself had a 5 day camp at Lake Lascelles in Hopetoun, which is in the northern western part of the Wimmera Mallee in Victoria . It was a winter camp and it was very cold at night with sub zero temperatures in the early morning. On the last morning of the camp there was heavy fog in Hopetoun, which meant a midday departure, since the tent’s fly… Read More
I had planned to go on a roadtrip to the Mallee this week on my own, but an infected tooth has seen that trip cancelled. Instead I am reading Don Watson’s book The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia (2016). From what I can gather the book is based Watson buying a 4WD in 2009 and setting off across the eastern part of the country on a road trip. Along the way he… Read More
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