After a long hiatus, I’m on the road again with my This Working Life project. This time I’m travelling with my younger brother Terry, on what is known in grey nomad circles as a “half loop”. We are travelling via Adelaide, north through the Flinders Ranges, to Alice Springs and then on to Darwin; back and east into Queensland and then down through regional New South Wales to Canberra. As in the past, I’ll post a record of the country we travel through and the places we see. In this first post, I’m offering some postcards of Western Victoria where we have been travelling for the past few days:
The Wimmera, wheat growing country of western Victoria © Rob Walls 2015
An original Furphy water cart in the town of Rainbow, in the Western Wimmera. It is said that the term “furphy” originated from the unsubstantiated gossip that occurred on farms as workers gathered around the water cart. © Rob Walls 2015
Old shed in the Victorian Western Wimmera town of Rainbow © Rob Walls 2015
Horse trough at the Rainbow railway station in western Victoria © Rob Walls 2015
Second hand store, Nhill, western Victoria © Rob Walls 2015
Window of a print shop, Nhill, Victoria © Rob Walls 2015
A modern but very retro take away restaurant in Shepparton, Victoria © Rob Walls 2016
Fire escapes, Greenwich Village, New York, (c) Rob Walls
Fire escape, Kodak House, Hobart, Tasmania (c) Rob Walls
Street kids, Barcelona.1969 © Rob Walls 2013
Vinatero, Barcelona, 1969 © Rob Walls 2013
Publishing that 1960s photo of street children in Woolloomooloo a couple of days ago, led me to look through other pictures of mine from that period. In 1966 I travelled to London looking for experience on Fleet Street. I stayed five years, returning to Australia in 1971. Here are three pictures from that time. Never without a camera, pictures 2 and 3 were shot almost from exactly the same spot, within metres of the door of the basement studio I rented in Soho. Both were made in the moment I emerged into the street, on my way home.
I wonder, was the street life richer and more varied then? In hindsight, it seems so.
Busker, Kings Road, Chelsea, 1966 © Rob Walls
Outside the offices of Tailor & Cutter magazine, Gerrard Street, Soho, London © Rob Walls 1968
Rosie, a well known Soho street character of the 60s, Gerrard Street, Soho © Rob Walls 1969
For many years, my son has sported long hair, just as I did in the 70s. For him, it was probably not so much youthful rebellion, but a reaction to a lack of thatch in his early years. He didn’t have enough hair to comb until he was about three years old. When he was finally allowed autonomy over his hair, he grew it down to his shoulder-blades. Being somewhat handsome featured (taking after his mother), it became a bit of a joke that he was continually being mistaken for my daughter. This was before he had developed facial hair. I used to tell him that if we were to travel together in future it was either grow a beard or get a haircut.
Well he finally followed my advice. Listens to his old dad, does my boy:-)
My 19 year old son, Kim’s new hairstyle. I think it looks really cool. © Rob Walls 2012
I shot this late last year. Kim has since grown his hair back…for those of a technical bent, I lit this using two banks of fluorescent lights that I used to use as light-boxes for editing transparencies. Stood on end, they give a beautiful soft light and great highlights in the eyes.
Street kids, Chapel Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, 1962 © Rob Walls 2013
I made this picture 51 years ago, when Woolloomooloo was an inner-city slum of dubious reputation. Only a few metres away was the infamous red light area of illegal brothels, Chapel Lane. The poster for Vincent’s APC on the wall above the children, is of somewhat curious historic interest. Vincent’s along with Bex powders,were highly addictive analgesics containing aspirin, phenacetin and caffeine, When it was found that they caused serious kidney damage they were taken off the market in 1970.
“Time eventually positions most photographs, even the most amateurish, at the level of art.”
― Susan Sontag
Issue 66 of 40 South Magazine
The first in-print publication of pictures from my project This Working Life has just been published over 8 pages in the portfolio section of the highly respected Tasmanian magazine 40° South. If you are interested in Tasmania and all things Tasmanian, subscribe now.
To coincide with this I’ve posted some more of the pictures here. If you want to know more about this project please visit my This Working Life blog.
“Looking at pictures of work can provoke thoughts and feelings about work and life…it leads each to ponder in our own personal terms, not just the subject at hand but the universal nature of human existence.” Ferdinand Protzmann The World of Work.
Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
Gypsy Bar, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt
Nullarbor, South Australia
“Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world.” Sir Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
Byron Bay, NSW
Rottnest Island, WA
Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne
“The strongest bond of human sympathy outside the family relation should be one uniting working people of all nations and tongues and kindreds.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Bourke Street, Melbourne
Job seeker, Hobart
Collins Street, Hobart
Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
“I do not believe we can repair the basic fabric of society until people who are willing to work have work. Work organizes life. It gives structure and discipline to life.” Bill Clinton
Filed under art, Australia, Australian, Digital photography, documentary photography, Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, portraits, Rob Walls, Tasmania
I know I’ve posted this before…but it’s worth a reminder. May 15th 2012 is the day of the Day in the World project
In five days this project will become reality. Be a part of it along with thousands of other photographers across the globe, documenting your world in what is probably the largest project of its kind ever attempted. On this one single day we ask you to pick up your camera and help us photograph daily life. What is close to you? What matters to you? We will connect your images to those of millions of others around the world, creating a unique online experience where photographs will be shared, compared and explored. Your view on life will be preserved to inspire generations to come.
Our mission is to use the power of photography to create, share and inspire perspectives on daily life – today and tomorrow.
And who are you?
This project is initiated by the Swedish non-profit foundation Expressions of Humankind and supported by a highly respected global advisory council and a special scientific council.
Who can join?
Professionals, amateurs, school children, farmers, social media fans, astronauts, office workers and you. Cell phone camera, Hasselblad, home-made or borrowed. We are looking for the perspective of everyone who enjoys photography.
What will happen to the photos?
All images will be displayed online for you and everyone to explore. Some of them will be selected for a book, A Day In the World, to be published in November 2012, others shown in digital exhibitions. Every single one will be saved for future research and inspiration. The photos will never be used for commercial purposes. They will always be treated with care and respect. Should your photo be selected to feature in a book, we will try to contact you beforehand.
Why should I join?
Because you love photography. Because you have something to say. Because your life matters. Because the idea of doing something together with millions of others is thrilling. Because you like the thought of saving a little something of yourself for generations to come. Because your take on daily life is part of a much bigger picture.
Come on! Sign up! Be a part of this history making record! To find out more about this exciting project, go here: www.aday.org
Uluru in three Polaroid prints, 1980 © Rob Walls 1980
Mining the old Polaroid print archive, I came across this series I shot of Uluru in Central Australia, 32 years ago….
While searching for a print today, I came across a little packet of Polaroids. In the fag end of the 80s I had occasional gigs as a consultant to Polaroid. I worked on product launches for several cameras as well as a range of their films. While Polaroid paid well for my involvement, they were also very generous with film and cameras. The copious supply of free film allowed me to indulge in a photographic playfulness that I only rediscovered with the arrival of digital photography. Here are a few of my favourites:
A roller door with graffiti in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. Coincidentally Otis, the lift manufacturer had it UK headquarters in the town of Reading. © Rob Walls
A pre-Photoshop experimental promotional photograph for Polaroid. That's right a straight photo, no trickery other than the finest nylon filament I could find to suspend the camera against the sky. © Rob Walls
Chinese restaurant, Hobart, Tasmania 1990, displaying sign "MSG used only on request". © Rob Walls
Portrait of Jack Hewett in mask against a Javanese Batik © Rob Walls