Covid-19 + the Mallee
The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia killed off my plans to start the solo stage of photographing the old Mallee Routes project– now Eye on the Mallee. The original plan was to spend a bit of time photographing in the Victorian Mallee whilst on my way to Melbourne. That plan was cancelled when South Australia’s border with Victoria was closed after the surge in community transmission in Melbourne from the hotel quarantine debacle. It has become clear that the breach in infection control procedures by security staff contracted by the government to monitor returned international travellers was one of the causes that triggered Victoria’s ave on infections in the community.
With movement within South Australia also restricted for a period of time, my energies went into constructing the online Encounters Gallery, a newsletter, the first online exhibition—-The Covid-19 Exhibition and then the second exhibition— The Walking/photography exhibition. The Victorian border with South Australia remains closed with stage 4 restrictions in Metro Melbourne. The Australian economy is being kept afloat with a huge increase in government spending (eg., Jobkeeper and Jobseeker). National unemployment is expected to hit 10-13%.
I am planning a new trip as restrictions on movement within South Australia have been eased. However, it is not to Swan Hill via Jung in Victoria as I’d originally planned.
I will be joining Suzanne’s walking friends at their Lavender Trail camp in Kapunda for six days. Whilst they walk the Lavender Trail each day I will go photographing in the South Australian mallee by crossing the River Murray.