The refugee issue here in Australia is a highly emotionally charged one. So much so that both major political parties pander to the public’s xenophobia and racism rather than meet their international legal obligations. While Australia likes to present itself as an easy-going multi-racial society it is reality far from it. The country has an appalling record when it comes to institutional racism. Our country still sees the aboriginal peoples as second class citizens, and although under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd the government issued an apology for past wrongs still effectively has a defacto form of apartheid that keeps aboriginal people in crushing poverty that directly reduces their life expectancy and sees them in virtual continual conflict with the legal system. Many Australians would emphatically deny this and say that using names like boong, nigger, blacks and gins are just good-natured fun. In fact our new government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in the process of altering ...
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Apologies to the late, great JJ Cale, who wrote the absolutely sublime song “After Midnight”, but I have been prowling around after dark with my camera and tripod. Every summer I do this because endless blue skies and fields of sun bleached wheat stubble do not make for very interesting photographs. Shooting at night can make the mundane look strangely beautiful and ethereal. Most of the time the images are straight, i.e. I just set the camera up on my tripod and make an exposure, like the two images above. Sometimes I like to play a little with light painting and flash to make something a little more out there. What makes this fun is that it is experimental, you’re never completely sure how the image is going to turn out. Also with exposures knocking around 30 to 240 seconds it is a slow process and that makes it a more thoughtful exercise as it is not just a case of blazing away and hoping. I find because it can take up to twenty minutes making test exposures and then the final image ...
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Esperance is a medium sized Aussie country town and is blessed with 16 beaches that are picture perfect and excellent for all manner of beach pursuits and are widely reputed to be the best in Australia. All but one of them are dog friendly. It is quite an isolated place and it is therefore very likely that you’ll able to get a beach to yourself. We didn’t go for the beaches but for Cape Le Grand National Park.
A bit of history about the area. Twenty thousand years ago the indigenous people of the south west of what is now Western Australia, the Wudjari group of the Nyoongar, inhabited the land they called “Kepakurl” or the place where the sea lies like a boomerang. It was a region blessed with a good climate, plenty of water and an abundance of wildlife and consequently they did not feel the need to roam very far. In 1627 a Dutch ship, the Gulden Zeepaerdt, captained by François Thijssen, sailed through the islands off the coast and so began the colonial era. In 1792 the next European ...
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For a while I had to commute to Perth from York. I did the first bit, York to Midland by car and then I did Midland to Perth by train. I discovered that I HATE commuting. It is soooo tedious. Then after a couple of weeks I get a new camera and just to test it I took a photo while on the train just to test it out more than anything else. When I eventually looked at it on my monitor an idea began to form in my head for a project. A couple more weeks later I discovered the video function on the camera and then I thought the project should be multi-media one made up of stills, video footage and audio recordings from my train commute. The result is TransPerth-Transhumance.
Transhumance is traditionally the movement of livestock from summer to winter pasture. Today most people are divorced from the need to earn a subsistence income from herding animals. In this post industrial society people now travel from their place of abode to their place of work. Everyday TransPerth, the public transpo ...
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Nemesis is an autobiographical narrative about how an accident causes change. It explores the loss of innocence and the struggle to come to terms with life in an altered physical and emotional state and how with perseverance and persistence it is possible to over come those circumstances.
The story is told over a series of ten monochrome photos which combine text and imagery. The title for the story and the captions, came from actual conversations with people as I went through this experience.
While the telling of this story has been cathartic it has not provided instantaneous emotional relief and self awareness. In the same way a pebble when dropped into a pond causes ripples that slowly spread and then dissipate, the accident and its consequences have played out over a long period of time. I count myself lucky, many are not so fortunate.
Part of the FotoFreo 2012 Open Exhibition Programe
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The idea for a rodeo project arose from a wider study of rural Australia. The majority of Australians live a very suburban existence in close proxity to the coast. The real rural Australia is somewhat akin to another country – a very different experience all together. As the project gained momentum I found myself drawn to the rodeo. Initially it was the sheer spectacle of it, then the physicality – the animals are vetrans of the rodeo circuit and some of them have developed very clear stragegies for dismounting the riders. Finally it was the whole concept of capturing motion and movement – before the photographic studies of Eadweard Muybridge no one seemed to understand how humans and animals really moved. The work should be seen in this context as well as being documentary in nature.
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