architecture, landscape, topographics

exploring the Mt Lofty Ranges

March 10, 2022

On this particular trip which included Tableland Rd I was scoping with a digital camera as the wind was far too strong to use the 5×7 — it was a south easterly that blew straight across the Ranges. As I continued to explore and scope the bleak and denuded agricultural landscape around Gap Rd I remembered that the Mt Lofty Ranges with its roots in settler culture have been overlooked in favour of the wilderness of the Flinders Ranges by photographers.

This picture is a looking west to Davenport Rd:

Gap Rd landscape

I didn’t venture very far along Gap Rd as my plan was to pass through Cambrai and Sedan to explore the Mt Lofty Ranges between Dutton and Eudunda. I planned to camp at Eudunda for several days. Unfortunately, the south easterly wind became gale force overnight making it impossible to photograph using a large format camera the following day. As it was projected to blow for several days I cut my losses and returned home to Encounter Bay.

It was a disappointment as I was all set up for several days on the road. However, the little roadtrip was enough to persuade me that it would be worthwhile to pick up from where I’d left off in the 1980s/1990s by returning to Gap Rd with the 5×7 Cambo monorail to continue exploring the barrenness of the Mt Lofty Ranges agricultural landscapes. It is the bleakness that defines this regional landscape, and it stands in opposition to both the old pastoral landscape tradition, or Stavros Pippos’s aesthetically pleasing (picturesque) landscape photos of the scenic grandeur of the Flinders Ranges.

The traces of history I came upon were white colonial ones:

Lutheran Church, Milendella, 1895

The living presence of Aboriginal people (The Peramangk?) themselves was an absence in the landscape I was traveling in. What were their stories of this country? If reading this landscape is an activity mediated through my cultural lens of meaning, then I did not know the unstable ground of the settler-colonial history of this region; or the extent of the violence used to dispossess the indigenous population of their land.

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  • Reply a small photo trip - Mallee Routes March 12, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    […] on from this previous post about reconnecting to the Mallee Routes project I made a small photo trip in early March 2022 along the interface between the Mt Lofty Ranges and the Murray Plains. This […]

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