In a land obsessed with BIG, it appears that in the last week I’ve been traversing the land of the big sit down.
Monthly Archives: July 2010
Arriving in the mining town of Broken Hill in mid-afternoon, I decided to stretch my legs with a walk around town. This city is like nowhere else I’ve ever been in Australia. Former prosperity shows through the modern run-down facades, but several of these building exteriors intrigued me:
This afternoon, on a gun-barrel straight stretch of road 189km from Broken Hill, I came across this wrecked Toyota Landcruiser. I stopped to see if I could offer any help, but the crash site was deserted, but there was a rudimentary camp site, with a folding chair some rugs and an opened first aid kit.
What made the scene so surreal, was that there was still a CD playing loudly from inside the wreck: Tammy Wynette, Stand by Your Man! I left the music playing and walked away wondering, to the sounds of Johnny Cash. Ten minutes later I was photographing emus…
A long way from home with a long way yet to go. I’ve covered more than 2,000km and estimate it will be another 2,000 before I get home late next month. In the meantime here are a few pictures taken along the way:
I am probably a photo heretic, but I’ve always found the industrial landscape more interesting than the natural landscape. Today, I worked in a recycling plant and fell in love with the batches of plastic waiting to be processed, especially the compressed bales. The patterns and detail were just a treat for the eye, or my eye at least. I could imagine one of these one tonne bales as an art installation in my garden, but I don’t think I’d get it past my wife. I think I might have to settle for a very large print.
Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, 15th July) I’ll be driving onto the ferry, The Spirit of Tasmania, to cross Bass Strait and begin a project I initiated at the beginning of this year. It is a self-generated assignment to photograph the changing nature of work in Australia. It is probably the the most ambitious assignment I’ve ever undertaken.
During the coming year, I intend to criss-cross the continent photographing as many aspects of work as I possibly can. But not just work; also the way work affects peoples lives.
This first six week trip will take me approximately 3,000km around the state of Victoria and up into the mining town of Broken Hill in New South Wales. In September, I’ll be photographing work in my home state of Tasmania. In November, I’ll either be travelling the east coast or making a trans-continental dash East to West across the Nullarbor Plain to Eastern Australia before the summer reaches its peak.
This is an adventure I approach with a little apprehension. I’ve set the bar high. You can follow my progress on my blog; This Working Life.
The project is currently funded by Jobs Australia.