Merivale, Christchurch

In February, just before going to Tasmania,   I dashed over to Christchurch, New Zealand, to attend my mothers' funeral. She was 97. 

I stayed in a motel in Papanui Rd, Merivale with my sister.   In the early morning I would walk down to the local shops to have breakfast and  I would take  a few snaps along  the way. 

Merivale is one of Christchurch's  more upmarket suburbs. In contrast,  to say Sydenham,  it is where the old money is. It didn't seem to have been that badly damaged by the 2011 earthquake. Or if it had, then the  insurance money flowed in quickly to repair the damage to the buildings.  

in Tasmania: the Midlands

I have just returned  to Victor Harbor after spending  2 weeks in Tasmania.

The first week  was spent photographing on the south west coast of Tasmania whilst Suzanne walked in The Walls of Jerusalem National Park and the second week was spent being tourists primarily in the Tasman Peninsula, south-east of Hobart. 

Our base was in Tunbridge in the Midlands which I briefly explored between weeks 1 and 2. 

This building  was in Campbelltown which is about 20 kilometres north of Tunbridge on the Midlands Highway.  

salt ponds

One coastal subject matter that I had started to explore was the dried salt ponds among the rocks along the coast west of Petrel Cove. I had started to scope them with a digital camera. Then I saw the photograph of salt ponds  by Christopher Houghton made with a 5x4 camera and decided to photography the ones I'd seen  in black and white. 

I quickly found them to be very ephemeral--there in the morning, gone in the afternoon. So I spent several days on the various poodle walks looking for permanent saltponds  in different locations along the coast. I found a couple and I was ready to go back with a medium format camera. 

Then the rains cam after Xmas.   It rained  for several days and the permanent salt ponds that I had discovered were washed away.  A week has passed,  and though I have been back every day,  the salt ponds have  yet to return. 

Carina photoshoot

Prior to going to meet Gilbert and Eric at Hopetoun in the Wimmera-Mallee  to make some more  images for the Mallee Routes project  I camped at Murrayville to photo some of the  nearby  silos.  There were a couple of days of overcast conditions in the Mallee and I wanted to take advantage of these conditions  to make some 8x10 black and white photos.

This is the silo at Carina, which is just south of Murrayville:

This is going to be a slow project.  As it is turning out it requires several hours travelling time,  overcast conditions, camping  and a few pictures in the morning and the evening at the most.  Then the weather changes back to the usual  blue sky and bright sunshine and I pack up  the photoshoot  until the next time. 

Milpirri Festival

After the opening  of the Mallee Routes exhibition at Atkins Photo Lab in Adelaide  I linked up with friends in Mildura  to drive to see the Warlpirri's Milpirri Festival at Lajamanu in the Tanami Desert  in the Northern Territory.  It was a 3 day drive

This is  one of the  posters that surround the stage  at the Milpirri Festival; the huge painted banners retell  the stories from the different family groups  that have been  learnt.  

The photo of the poster was made at  dusk with my digital camera. I  was at the limits of the capacity of the Sony NEX-7. Though it was an improvement on 400ASA film,  I couldn't go beyond 800 ASA. Friends,  who were using more modern digital camera's (such as  the Sony A7 or  the Fuji X-Pro 2),   could work with  ASA settings 3 times that. Unlike me, they were  then able to  photograph people at the festival after dusk with minimal lighting.    

Abstract Photography book launched

At the opening of the Abstraction x 5 exhibition, which includes abstractions by   Graeme Hastwell, Beverley Southcott, Stuart Murdoch,  Adam Dutkiewicz and myself,  we launched the Abstract Photography  book. The exhibition and launch was yesterday  at the Light Gallery in Adelaide to a full house.  

The  book was written  by Dutkiewicz and myself, and it recovers the lost modernist abstractions made in the 1960s by Adelaide photographers, has a couple of essays by Adam and myself and a number of  abstract photographic  images by Adam  and myself. 

The full title of the book is Abstract Photography: Re-Evaluating Visual Poetics in Australian Modernism and Contemporary Practice, and it was published by  Moon Arrow Press. It was the  lo-fi version--the artist proof of concept--- was launched. The general reaction was that the history, text and contemporary  images in the book hung together well to form a cohesive whole. We'd got there. 

Mallee Routes: exhibition

This is the interim poster,  or flyer, for the  first  exhibition for the 3 year collective Mallee Routes project that is to be held  at the Atkins Photo Lab new photography  gallery.  The  exhibition opens on Friday  October 7th,  and it runs for around a month. It  is a work in progress exhibition, that basically  says, 'this is how we started the project everyone.'     

The poster/flyer  was designed by Eric Algra, one of three  photographers involved in the project. He is the project  member  who has  the  most extensive  photographic archives for the Mallee.    

The Mallee Routes project has its own website---though this  is still in a rudimentary state---with a blog containing a few posts.  This means that the  project  now has a public profile.  The  overarching  statement  of the project can be seen here. 

kinda busy

The Weltraum  exhibition at Magpie Springs officially opened on Sunday,   11 September.  Although the Shimmer Photographic Biennale closes at the end of September,  the Weltraum exhibition remains open until early November--Sunday,  November 6th.   

I now start  preparing for work for  both the Abstraction  x 5  exhibition  at the Light Gallery, which opens on October 1st with its book launch;  and then the Mallee Routes exhibition with Eric Algra and Gilbert Roe, which opens  at the Atkins  Photo Lab gallery on Friday, October  7th. It's a case of one exhibition  down, two exhibitions to go, with the photography budget collapsing under the weight of the costs.   

Curating these exhibitions  has meant that there hasn't  been much time available for my photography;   apart from the odd moment here and there when I am away from the computer screen.  This image was from once such moment:

We- the standard poodles and myself--- just happened to be walking past this dead tree as the sun was setting,  whilst on a poodle walk. The roadside vegetation  along this stretch of road is thinning, and a lot of it is dying. No one cares for  the roadside vegetation--only the roads are looked after.