roadtrip to Balranald, NSW

In a couple of days I am off on a roadtrip to Balranald in NSW  for a winter photocamp with Gilbert Roe.  I need to make some photos for the forthcoming exhibition at the  Murray Bridge Regional Gallery in February 2019. I am squeezing the roadtrip inbetween finishing  working on the photos for the SALA festival exhibition  and the opening of  the actual exhibition  with  Stuart Murdoch on  the 3rd August at the… Read More

Lake Boga photo-camp

The exhibition at the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery has finished,  and Gilbert Roe and I  decided to add on a photo-camp at Lake Boga when  we  picked up our prints from the gallery. The  photo-camp, even  for a few days,  would allow us to explore the Mallee region  around Swan Hill,  and to build on the new beginnings that had we had either briefly scoped or seen whilst  we were in Swan Hill… Read More

new beginnings

The post’s title new beginnings refers to me starting   to scope work for  the 2018 section of the Mallee Routes project whilst I was  at Swan Hill for the exhibition at the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery.    This is new work for the  upcoming group exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery in early 2019. I want to present new work that has been made during 2018, rather than old… Read More

topographic photography + trauma

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

In Birchip: reflections on landscape photography

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.

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.

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

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