3. I'm hoping that you could share a story or two from traveling around wider Australia - something unpredictable, bizarre, impressive or hilarious. Where were you? What happened? Why do you still remember it now?
Meeting Timmy from Coober Pedy, Crocodile Harrys side kick and hearing about his life underground and the opal mining boom and bust was something that has definitely stayed with me. We got chatting with him at the RSL and then headed to his house the next day, sharing shots of vodka at 10 am with him. He’d took us out the back mines and showed me where he blue lighted for opals at night. He was our link to lots of his friends and their lives. Something that you would never experience being an outsider, there was a sense that we were really seeing how the locals lived and that insight was paramount to my work. Above ground in Coober Pedy is very different to what goes on below ground. Breaking through the tourist gaze and investing in time can change your photography and it's limitations. 4. Australia often feels like a country that's gone mad - heat, humidity, settlements in the middle of nowhere, houses falling down, roads that lead for thousands of kilometers, debris littered all over the place. Are there parts, times or places that feel a bit bizarre and idiosyncratic to you?
This is what I gravitate to most! exactly that, our absurdities and surprises, engaging our imaginations - painted more positively I guess. My process usually starts as I listen and read about stories from around the country. Those stories are often unconventional and eccentric. They usually work within extreme circumstances of heat, isolation and survival - for me that’s where the magic lies. Unstitching views of what we think a desert town might look like or a tropical city in the top end of Australia. For me it’s about breaking down the one dimensional stereotypical view. I love the element of surprise. I am always drawn to the natural environments of these places, the most beautiful and surreal photographs for me are often the bounty of nature. I use my visual language to interpret these places, a subjective documentation to tell a story. It’s often that these projects become a metaphor for a much larger dialogue and often a hidden personal spin arises. The personal element to these projects are often hidden at first but the longevity of the work means you can investigate what you are trying to say and how are you trying to say it. As you develop as a person your work usually follows this growth.