The River Torrens (Karrawirra Parri) near Bowden

When going through my large format archives the other day I came across some images I’d made of the River Torrens (Karrawirra Parri) as it flowed through the Adelaide Parklands near Coopers Brewery on the corner of Port Rd and Park Terrace.

I often wandered around this section of the parklands when I was living in Bowden, as it was just a few minutes walk from the studio in Gibson St, and so much quicker to access than the seaside beaches or Port Adelaide.

River Torrens (Karrawirra Parri) at West End.

I would often walk Fiche, my standard poodle, there in the morning or in the afternoon. We would usually walk through Park 27A (now known as the John E. Brown Park) across the Railway Bridge, to the weir at the base of Torrens Lake. Sometimes we would skirt around the Adelaide Gaol on our way to the Morphett St Bridge, Elder Park and the Festival Centre.

Roadtrips: Andamooka

As noted in some of the earlier posts in this blog the third section of The Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia consists of the various road trips of different kinds that I made whilst I was living in Bowden, then Ovingham, and finally in the south-east corner of Adelaide.

The mini trips include those around the edge of Adelaide: those to the suburban beaches to escape the summer heat in Bowden; explorations around Port Adelaide; trips to the Mt Lofty Ranges, then to Victor Harbor (and Kangaroo Island). The longer roadtrips were to the South Australian Mallee and the mid-north, and those along the River Murray to Melbourne and the east coast of Australia.

The last road trip, which would close the third section, is the trip that I made in the 1990s to the opal mining town of Andamooka in the northern part of South Australia.

dugout, Andamooka, 1990s

A colour version of this picture of this shelter or dugout can be seen here on my ‘On the Road’ Tumblr blog. I made a couple of colour photos on this trip.

The 1990’s: turning to colour

I’ve started working on the Bowden Archives book, though in a casual way as I’m slowly easing myself into an earlier draft of the book. The current work so far has primarily been picking up the old texts, starting to rework them into some sort of rough shape, and flicking through my archives.

A initial draft of the Preface has been written, as has an early draft of the text for the first section, which consists of street photography images. In the 70s and 80s I was using a Leica M-4 with black and white film as my main walkabout camera, and the text for this section is on, and briefly about, a snapshot culture. I have basically re-defined the street photography that I did as snapshots, or as photos belonging to the snapshot culture.

The third section of the book is tentatively titled ‘road trips’. It will be thinner than the other two sections, but it will point towards my future photography in the first decade of the 21st century. At this stage I have no idea what kind of text I am going to write for this part of the book.

Wetlands, Kangaroo Island, SA 1995

By the 1990s I no longer had a wet darkroom and I was busy finishing my PhD in philosophy at Flinders University of South Australia. Photography was on the back burner and the photography that I did in the 1990s was basically done whilst Suzanne and I went on various holidays and road trips. The above photos was on one trip to Kangaroo Island, which I’d never been to.

An update on the Bowden project

In this post in 2016 I mentioned that I had started to work on the Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia book. In two other posts in 2017 about the Adelaide Art Photographers 1970-2000 book, I indicated that a few of my archival non-Bowden photos would form a portfolio in the book. That book has now been published by Moon Arrow Press in Adelaide.

This leaves the Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia project to be completed as a book. It will have 3 sections. The first one is on street photography in Melbourne (circa 1977-9) after I’d finishing studying at the Photography Studies College and snapshots in Adelaide. The middle section will consist of the Bowden photographs. The third section includes photographs made on various road trips around and outside of Adelaide.

The picture below would be part of the third section, if it makes the cut:

Silo, Snowtown (?), South Australia, 1996

I have pulled the Bowden project from being published by Wakefield Press, who will now be publishing the Tasmanian Elegies project. The Bowden Archives and Other Marginalia book will be published by Moon Arrow Press in 2021.

Roadtrip: Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges

On my recent Mallee Routes photo trip I returned to sites in the eastern Mt Lofty Ranges that I had briefly photographed in  during the 1980s.   I spent a bit of the on the road time walking around the area on the Tungkillo  to Palmer  section of the Randall Rd, which runs from Mt Pleasant to Walker Flat.

Whilst I was taking some scoping snaps with my digital camera I remembered some of the photos that I’d made in the 1980s in this general location. The image below is one of the images that I remembered making using a Linhof Technika 70:

Eastern Mt Lofty Ranges

I recalled that in the 1980s I was visually attracted by the bareness of this landscape. It was a stripped, overgrazed landscape with just the odd tree hanging on. There was very little in the way of replanting or Landcare.

Continue reading

topographics

In a previous post on this archival blog I  had mentioned my shift from street photography to topographics during the 1980s. This shift  emerged whilst  I was photographing around Osborne, Gillman  and Outer Harbor  along the Port River estuary on the Le Fevre Peninsula.

This is an example of my  topographic approach to industrial type urbanscapes—a wasteland, if you like– that was made  in the 1980s:

Osborne, South Australia

Another version of the topographical approach to this wasteland or ravaged landscape  that was made in the same photo-session is here.

The shift from street photography to topographics is how I have structured  my portfolio in  the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book, which  is to  be published by Moon Arrow Press in 2019.  It is part of the independent photobook  movement.  Continue reading

Roadtrip: Barmah National Park

Whilst I was  going through my archives  looking for some better images to include in my portfolio for the Adelaide Photography 1970-2000 book— submissions have just been called— I came across a few images of River Red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) along the River Murray in Victoria.  I had more or less over forgotten about these mid-1980s images, as they were mixed up with  some of the  sand dune  images of  Adelaide’s coastal beaches in the archive.

Red River Gum, Barmah National Forest

The picture  above was made on a late 1980s road trip in the VW Kombi  along the southern coast of Australia then back along the River Murray. Other images from this road trip— e.g.,  the La Trobe Valley and  the Riverland trunk images —can be found  in this  earlier post about  the Adelaide Photography book.  Continue reading

Hallett Cove, Adelaide

This picture from the 1980s archives represents a change in the way that I had been  photographing. It signifies a shift from the street photography and landscapes I had been doing  previously to a more  topographics style of photography:

Hallett Cove, Adelaide

It was a slow shift, as I was pretty much working blind. At this stage I  was more or less  trying to find suitable subject matter to photograph  with   the  5×7 Cambo view camera.  I was slowly finding my feet photographing Adelaide as a place, and   I didn’t really know what I was doing in terms of a topographic photography of altered landscapes  in Adelaide. Continue reading

Road trip: Mt Lofty Ranges

I have been going through my 35mm archives  looking through  images from the 1980s  to include in  a possible  artist book  for the Mallee Routes project. This would be a book that is associated with the initial Mallee Routes exhibition at the Atkins Photo Lab in   2017.

At the exhibition I  left a pile of small prints on a table for people to look at. It wasn’t a very successful mode of presentation. A book would be much better, if I have enough images.

I came across this image of an agricultural landscape in the eastern Mt Lofty Ranges amongst a number of other images of the Murray  Mallee and the Riverland.

Mt Lofty Ranges

From memory, this picture  would have been made with a Leicaflex SLR whilst I was on the road. It would have been a day trip around the eastern Mt Lofty Ranges in the VW Kombi. Continue reading

river gum, Chowilla

This is another image from one of my visits to the Chowilla Flood Plain in  South Australia’s  Riverland  region. This floodplain was listed as a Wetland of International Importance in  1987 under the Ramsar Convention.

river gum, Chowilla, South Australia

The picture was made  with a  Linhof Technika 70  in the same year as  this image.  From memory,  it was taken a bit earlier the year.  It was around 2004-5 when I was working as a staffer for a federal South Australian Senator. We had gone to see how little  water there was on the floodplain  during the decade  long drought. Continue reading