phototrip to Claypans

I leave for a short photo trip to Claypans in the Murray Mallee in South Australia tomorrow morning (Saturday 15th). It’s only for a couple of days, to allow me to do some black and white photographs of some of the scenes that I’d scoped when returning to Adelaide from the Wentworth trip. I will also explore around the nearby Copeville and Galga region. The images are for the Absent History section… Read More

Wentworth photocamp

I am planning to go on  a photocamp at  Wentworth and the lower Darling River  next Thursday (25th of April) for the Mallee Routes project. I want to travel slowly to Wentworth as I need to spend time in the Wimmera Mallee region, retracing my steps from an earlier exploration. I will probably stay over night at Murtoa or Donald before going onto Wentworth. My plan in the Wimmera is very dependant on the… Read More

The Mallee’s unknown futures

The photography in  the forthcoming Mallee Routes exhibition  in late 2019   will now be  spread across  the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery’s three galleries, namely,  the small Jean Symonds Gallery, the large Main Gallery and the small  Sculpture Court gallery.  These three galleries are linked and this gives the exhibition a unity.  The overall exhibition is organised in terms of past (in the Jean Symonds Gallery),  present (in the Main Gallery) and future… Read More

an old water tank and the supplement

Whilst I was on the Morgan photo camp in 2017 I decided to incorporate some 5×4 black and white photography into the Mallee Routes project through photographing this rusty water tank  with the Sinar F2  monorail. I wanted a bit of grittiness and punch,  and I thought that using  a large format  camera and 5×4 black and white sheet film would be suitable for some bleak subject matter. This I thought would… Read More

forthcoming exhibition at the Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

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

Irrigation and the Mallee

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

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.