Hopetoun revisited: water

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

Don Watson: The Bush

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

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.

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

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

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.