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architecture, film, roadtrip, topographics

silo roadtrip on Mallee Highway

April 26, 2016

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

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…

coastal, film, history, landscape

a road trip with an 8×10

March 29, 2016

I am  planning a  large-format road trip  to the Coorong where I will work  with 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.

melaleuca, Coorong

melaleuca, Coorong

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…

coastal, colour, film, landscape

Fleurieuscapes Outtake: Petrel Cove

March 2, 2016

The beach  region 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

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…

colour, film, history, landscape

Traumatic history

January 25, 2016

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,

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…

film, landscape

gloomy landscapes

January 10, 2016

This was my first attempt at a dark landscape.  It  is roadside vegetation in Waitpinga on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula on a no through road that I would often walk down with the standard poodles.  It was made in 2013,  and I  didn’t really know what I was doing apart from not photographing the beautiful.

I wasn’t photographing the tree per se that is  the grotesque  or formlessness as a way to explore alternative modes of expression to that of the beautiful,  pastoral landscapes that celebrate the dominion of mankind over nature,  and the picturesque.  I was  more attracted by the gloominess  of what was left of the native scrub or bush in relation to the field  for the grazing cattle. If the  field represented the “mastering” and “possessing”  of wild nature, then the roadside vegetation was all that left of  the bush. It was to be brooding. That’s about it.

gloomy landscape 1

gloomy landscape 1

I hadn’t connected this first take at gloomy landscapes  to Australian  photographers  working in the Gothic tradition, or those who recognised the Gothic nature of the Australian landscape. I must have felt I was doing something different that was worth exploring as I did black and white interpretations,  and  then  I went back and did some large format versions in both colour (5×4)  and black and white (8×10).  It was vaguely  something to do with Romanticism and the sublime; vaguely  because the roadside vegetation in Australian today was a long, long  way from Casper David Friedrich’s 1818 painting  of the Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog and Kant’s subject affirming concept of the sublime.  Continue Reading…

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