The Mallee project is now up and running. It kinda came together, spontaneously. How about that?
Our initial meeting earlier this week at Henley Beach to kickstart the Mallee project was able to take place because Eric Algra had flown over to Adelaide from Melbourne to work for a week on his new Elizabeth project. It was a fruitful meeting that covered a lot of ground. All of us share a fascination with the Mallee, its history, and its social and agricultural landscape. This is a dry, hot region featuring sand dunes, salt bushes, shrubs and strange dwarf gum tree, Eucalyptus Dumosa, usually called Mallee. What’s more we are are comfortable in each other’s company.
We–Eric Algra, Gilbert Roe and myself — reckoned that we would have enough work from our previous road trips to the Mallee to have a modest group exhibition this year. This initial exhibition, which kicks the public side of the project off, will be in October at Atkins Photo Lab’s new gallery space in Adelaide. This is at the same time as APSCON16 is happening in Adelaide— that is, the annual conference of the Australian Photographic Society, which is the national body of the very active, state based camera clubs.
garage, Tailem Bend
This is the first time that I will have worked on a project with a group of photographers, and it will be interesting to see how the project develops over the next few years, as we continue to build up a body of work from our future road trips and exhibit in various towns and cities. Maybe we could exhibit online or bring some writers or poets in? It’s envisaged as a multidimensional project.
Another 8×10 road trip will be taking place next week. This time it is a road trip through the Mallee in South Australia and Victoria in order to photograph the silos along the Mallee Highway. I will be camping at Ouyen in Victoria with Gilbert Roe. Let’s hop the weather has cooled down by then.
I scoped this last year during the spring when I was on my Canberra trip with both the digital Sony NEX-7 and the old Rolleiflex SL66. I will be using an 8×10 camera ( for black and white) and a 5×7 camera ( for colour). The project works in the tradition of the aesthetic as a realm of experience being separate from the instrumental thinking of both daily life and the market’s economic reason.Though the approach is historical in orientation it will be quite different to the road trips of David Marks between 2001-6 where he used Diana and Polaroid cameras.
I cannot remember the individual silos in the small towns.For instance I cannot recall which town on the Mallee Highway this particular silo is in that I made with the Rolleiflex SL66. Maybe it was around Walpeup or Underbool in Victoria:
silo+house, Mallee Highway
I never took any notes on the trip. I was just scoping the various silos to see if this economic architecture could constitute a conceptual type photography project—-something along the lines of ’13 silos on the Mallee Highway’. It is conceptual in the sense that I first came up with the title, then proceeded to photograph the subject on one of my road trips from Adelaide (my hometown) to Tooleybuc just south of the River Murray . The work of art is to be the book itself, simply but carefully designed. Continue Reading…
I am planning a large-format road trip to the Coorong where I work the 8×10 Cambo monorail, black and white film, and one 300mm normal lens. I will also have a 5×4 field camera with me to use with colour film and for when I am walking through the wetlands. The photo trip is to build material for the second part of the Edgelands project.
I will attend a workshop at Meningie run by the Centre for Culture, Land and Sea on the ecological state of the River Murray and Coorong on Sunday 3rd April. I will then drive to, and base myself at Salt Greek for 3 days. The work from this roadtrip will be part of a group exhibition at the South Coast Regional Arts Centre (in the historic Old Goolwa Police Station building). The exhibition is a part of the Alexandrina Council’s 2016 ‘Just Add Water’ program.
Before you think a road trip with an 8×10 monorail is crazy, here is a precedent from the 1980s: then Doug Spowart (using a Sinar P 8×10) and Maris Rusis (he was Queensland’s only committed 10×8 image-making practitioner at the time) did a road trip from Brisbane to Canberra, Kosciuszko and Suggan Buggan in the late 1980’s with 8×10 monorails. Continue Reading…
The beach dimension of the Fleurieuscapes had a minimal presence in the exhibition at Magpie Springs. Images, such as the one of Petrel Cove below, did not make the cut with the curators. Petrel Cove is on the south side of Rosetta Head, and it is a picturesque beach with rocky outcrops, which, despite a dangerous rip, is populated during the summer by surfers, recreational fishers, families and photographers.
It represents the pleasurable, freedom and recreation during the summer months without the stench of sewerage, piles of discarded condoms, human faeces, life savers, or racial conflict.
surfers, Petrel Cove
The Petrel Cove beach is usually empty during the late autumn, winter and early springs months apart from the odd surfer, dog walker, photographer, or lone fisherman. The place has a history of its rip regularly claiming the lives of those people who ignore the warning signs that signify the potential dangers. So Petrel Cove is not an unspoiled place that has a spiritual significance. Continue Reading…
This picture made in the Namadgi National Park is from the dark landscapes projected it is of a traumatic event–the Canberra bush fire. It is also a place of collective memory of the Canberra bushfire of 2003, which was the first confirmed case of a fire tornado in Australia, in which 4 people died, 490 were injured, over 500 homes destroyed, and 164,000 hectares burnt. That burnt area was close to 70% of the Territories total area.
burnt tree, Namadgi National Park
It is a site of traumatic history, and it is a photograph made of a place at which the bushfire event occurred over a decade before. As a photographer I came late to the scene and what is photographed is the remaining traces of the bush fire in the landscape. It is a photograph that was taken in a return to a location or site in the Namadgi National Park after the bush fire has happened, and it is made in response to the traces of this event in the landscape. Continue Reading…