in Canberra

We stayed at Banks in Canberra during the opening of the Edgelands exhibition at Manning Clark House.

Banks is on the eastern edge of this car-based, suburban city and is in the Tuggeranong district/valley. Banks is on the edge of Canberra’s outer suburban fringe. Our poodle walks in the morning and evening were along firebreak trails on both sides of the valley. We found the walks to be thoroughly enjoyable and attractive.

Banks, ACT
Banks, ACT

But you need a car to get around Canberra as the public transport to the city is woeful. It’s a long drive to school, work, shops, doctors, or leisure centres. Since the dominant mode of transport is by car, there is congestion in and around the CBD in spite of all the transport planning to ensure the flowing movement of the car.

at Regency Park

Ari and I walked around Regency Park in Adelaide last Friday whilst Suzanne and Maleko were at puppy pre-school. I was looking for material for October’s architectural theme for my 1picady2014 project. It was around 6pm, the sun was just going down, and we had an hour or so to fill in. I didn’t have the lightweight Linhof tripod that I’d acquired for the digital camera on me. So I gave up on the idea of returning to the Dry Creek Area which I had initially planned to revisit.

So we just ambled around this industrial/warehouse area. It was pretty quiet. Most of the warehouses had closed and the workers had gone. There was just a couple of workers relaxing at Nippys.

warehouse, Regency Park
warehouse, Regency Park

The odd semi-trailer rolled through the area and one went into Nippy’s. The wife of a Muslim couple was learning to drive a car and the ute crowd were using the ATM to get money for their Friday night’s fun. Apart from that it was very quiet. It was quite suitable for some large format photography.

at Port Adelaide

Ari and I wandered around Port Adelaide after I had coffee with Dani McLean at the Red Lime Shack. The Ball of Light exhibition by Denis Smith at the Forge Warehouse wasn’t open so I took the opportunity to see what was happening with the redevelopment of the Port.

The Sawtooth building has a photo by Dani of its interior stuck on its outside wall:

Sawtooth building
Sawtooth building

Nothing much has happened in terms of redevelopment.

Many of the gracious old heritage builds in the Port stand empty with no tenants. Urban Construct, the developer of the new apartment buildings along the river, has gone leaving the redevelopment unfinished. The government had stripped Urban Construct of its contract to develop the Newport Quays precinct in October 2011.

small gestures in specific places

Ari and I have come down to Victor Harbor to escape the Adelaide heat and to scan a 5×7 negative for a print that has been selected for the Adelaide City Council’s Snap Your City competition. It is refreshingly cool and pleasant on the coast. Summer has arrived in South Australia.

monolith, Victor Harbor

This seascape work is topographical in that represents the surface of a landscape and a place–topographical in the sense of place (topos) and modes of perception (tropos). These are small gestures in a specific place.

Gestures in the way of a map that is not ‘mimetic’ – ie., will not straightforwardly represent the actual space, but one that reflects or expresses the distortions and omissions of the individual’s personal experience of living in this place now being affected by climate change.

modern urban grunge

Ari and I wandered around the west part of Adelaide this evening. The north west wind and high temperatures had gone as the cool change had come through. The air was cool, it was overcast and the light was soft. There were lots of young people out and about: walking the streets, sitting on balconies and drinking at pavement tables outside the various pubs.

Adelaide actually felt alive–revitalized.

Franklin St development

My starting point, the idea that I had prior to the evening walk, was urban grunge in the form of the stalled development around the Precinct redevelopment of the former Balfours site on the corner Morphett and Franklin Streets in Adelaide. The high rise apartments –the Altitude–reminded me of an Eastern European housing commision site when it was being built.

I had the above in mind and I reckoned that Ari would find a way to get through the fence. He did.

picking up the pieces

I’ve recovered enough from my illness to start photographing again using more than a small hand held digital camera. I feel that I’ve lost most of this year and I’ve a deep sense of being wasted. There was so much that could have been done (especially with large format) and wasn’t. The momentum has been lost. It’s like starting all over again.

This was a picture of roadside vegetation I took just before things disintegrated around me:

tree + rubbish, Victor Harbor

It’s the road to the old Victor Harbor rubbish dump and one that the poodles and I would walk along if it was too windy along the coast. I kinda liked the view towards the southern ocean through the fields as we walked down the road through farmland towards Rosetta Head.


Ari and I went walking along a back country road west of Victor Harbor yesterday afternoon looking for more material for the conceptual photography book I didn’t find much in the way of the pink gum and Xanthorrhoea combination, but it was an enjoyable walk along Wilson Hill Rd. I found myself wondering how difficult it would be like to take pictures with a digital field view camera. Would it need to be tethered to a computer?

on Wilson Hill Rd, Victor Harbor

This part of the Fleurieu Peninsula region is dairy country and there is very little native bush left. This region been extensively cleared.

Thinking in terms of regionalism—the expression of a type of local identity—recalls the divisions between figuration versus non-figuration, and regionalism versus internationalism in the early 1970s where there was an identification of foreignness with non-figuration that was set against an emerging post-colonial regional cultural identity (Antipodeanism) that did not seek to create a national style.

climate change + photography

Early last Thursday morning Ari and I walked along the beach near Franklin Parade at Encounter Bay in Victor Harbor. We had an hour or so of fine weather after sunrise before the big storm front was due to hit the coastline.

I was interested in seeing the erosion that is beginning to happen along this foreshore, due to the rising sea levels. These are impacting on the South Australian coastline as well as other parts of Australia’s coastline.

erosion, Franklin Parade, Victor Harbor

There had been more erosion along this part of the foreshore. The Victor Harbor Council is aware of what is happening, but it’s proactive policy response is to replace the sand, rather than protect the footpath with rocks. Rocks are too expensive. But they will have to do something more substantial than sand as the option of planned retreat is not feasible here.


After having a look at an exhibition at the A.P Bond Gallery in Stepney I wandered around a bit taking a few photos. It highlighted to me that the intrinsic qualities of the picture was less important than the act of naming it as a work of art and getting the legitimating institutions–museums, galleries, collectors, historians of art etc —to accept the picture as art. What still haunts the art institution is Duchamp naming readymades such as a bottle rack or urinal as a work of art that should be in an art gallery.

Otto, Anne St, Stepney, Adelaide

I’m not sure where that leaves photography once both the copy theory of representation and an aesthetic canon of conventional forms has been rejected. Are photos functioning to re-enchant the world? They are becoming a sort of magic realism, fetishes or animated objects? A memento mori—ie., a mark of the inevitable passing of time?

a foggy morning

There was heavy fog in Adelaide this morning and it took until until midday to clear to a sunny day. I took the opportunity during peak hour to go and take a few picture of my local neighbourhood in the fog. I wanted to use a car park in Holland St that is only open on weekdays for some pictures of the southern part of the CBD.

fog, Gilbert St, Adelaid

It was a scoping exercise for a possible large format shoot as well as interest in what this part of Adelaide would look like in photographed in the fog. There was no sunshine until midday and so the lack of urban light meant that everything looked dull and flat.