For the second year running the skies in Melbourne have been far more photographic and overcast than I remember in summer.
I really exploited this in the quiet period from when I started my holidays to the new year. Many construction sites are closed at this time of year. This makes it even easier to photograph these places. I have shot more than 3 rolls of 120 film and about 20 sheets of 5×4 film. The results at this point seem pleasing.
This year I didn’t borrow a digital DSLR from work so the only digital files I’m making are using my iPhone.
These are the images I’m adding to this post. I also used the quiet time to scout a few possible locations moving forward. I’m very interested in the infrastructure projects going on right now all around Melbourne. In particular I’m interested in the ones that are close to me ie the inner west.
These are going to change the fabric of these suburbs. For better or worse I don’t know. But change they will and I’m trying to capture as much as I can, while I can.
I have applied to the Sunshine Community Arts Space for another solo show in 2022.
Here are some images that formed part of the application and potentially part of the exhibition.
The images form part of a larger archive and at one level are simply images I’ve always connected to, but not actually printed to exhibit in the past.
Like the last solo show in 2019, these prints will be small about 18 cms square. However this time I am not framing, just pinning, to the wall.
The work comes for a place that I have been situated in since the beginning of the pandemic. Relying mainly on my archives and my darkroom. I initially set out to make a small artist book, using contact printed negs. This process lead me to realise I could make a small solo show or two from the images I collated. All up I looked at over 539 medium format contact sheets from 1988 to 2021. The first edit for the book culled this down to about 80 images. This was too many for the book I had planned. The excess images may then make up several solo exhibitions.
This view did not exist in 2019. I can’t remember the last time I drove along Dohertys road.
I am standing on a bridge built for cyclists that forms part of the federation trail. I’m not quite certain when it was completed. Google maps most recent picture of this part of Dohertys road is from 2019. The new bridge forms part of the larger infrastructure works going on around the Westgate. The works are affecting the peripheral and arterial roads that run off it. This trail will allow cyclists to ride from Werribee to the city. It crosses Dohertys’ road a dual carriageway arterial road.
As I had not had a chance to really explore this part of Melbourne since we had spent so much time in lockdown last year. I decided to investigate several areas nearby that I know would have altered radically.
Dohertys road used to be a single lane arterial road. Given the real estate in this part of Laverton there would have been many many large trucks using this road. It is now a dual lane road which no doubt means the numbers will increase. Melbourne’s cyclists can now cross this road safely using this bridge.
The weather on the day I was there proved to be almost perfect for photography. Unusual for Melbourne in January. I suspect this will be a regular location now.
This approach to finding locations underpins my work. Not being able to wander and just follow my nose while we were in lockdown was stifling to say the least. At least it means there will be plenty more surprises waiting for me; all within a 10 minute drive from my house.
The response to the pandemic in the arts industry has been overwhelmingly positive. SALA is running its entire festival through artists websites this year. I have been very fortunate in that Gary Sauer-Thompson via his studio in Encounter Bay invited me to exhibit with an idea that explored the pandemic. The online exhibition is entitled, ‘Walking/Photography’, its premise is simple:-
“The exhibition explores the interrelationships between these two modes of being-in-the-world. The ethos is to go for a walk in your local area, where you can find what you don’t know you are looking for. It is a step into the photographic unknown that uncovers the forgotten or buried history of the area.”
The ‘exhibtion’ opens on the 1st of August and runs until the 30th of September.