This image is an outtake from the 15 images that I have selected for my forthcoming Fleurieuscapes exhibition at the Magpie Springs Gallery in January 2016. A previous outtake from the exhibition can be seen on this post on the Encounter Studio blog.
Although I was quite partial to it, my friends who were kindly acting as de facto curators for the exhibition rejected it. I am sentimentally attached to the image as my architectural representations of Victor Harbor are few and far between. There isn’t that much to work with in this coastal township, architecturally speaking, and I thought it was a good way to explore the people, place, space theme of the exhibition.
Most Adelaide’s associated Victor Harbor with a summer playground, holidays, the beach, leisure, and playing than its urban life. It is a part of, and contributes to, the meanings and symbolisms for Australians of the beach. The beach–it’s traditionally Bondi in Sydney —is a site we usually associate with relaxation, an egalitarian spirit and leisure amid sun, sand and surf. The icons of the beach are the lifesaver, the beach belle and the beach bum, the surfer and the sunbather, not to forget characters in films like Puberty Blue, or television series such as Seachange or Home and Away.
The summer playground conception is understandable, since the promise of glistening white sand, the cool salty water and a gentle breeze refreshing antidote to the sweltering heat of the long summer days in the congested city that becomes a heat trap during a heatwave. This has given rise to the mythology that Australia is a place dominated by gorgeous beaches with its lifesavers and counter culture surfers.
From this perspective the people, space and place theme of the exhibition is the public beach where social and class distinctions disappear under the pursuit of pleasure and fun. It’s not the early morning winter light tawdry on the scruffy architecture of the coastal town.