This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – The Mallee – A journey through north-west Victoria, plus this year’s Eyes on Main Street.
Book Launch: The Mallee
Over fifty years (1880-1930) various government schemes encouraged settlers to populate Victoria’s Mallee region (Australia). The rollout of the railway dictated where townships emerged and by the 1920s small communities dotted the region. The Mallee prospered as towns grew, the largest being Mildura. As the twentieth century progressed, vineyards, citrus orchards, wheat, dairy and sheep farming became part of the landscape.
Five award-winning Australian documentary photographers – Andrew Chapman, Jaime Murcia, Noel Butcher, Melanie Faith Dove and Erin Jonasson – travelled through The Mallee over two years to capture the communities that live far from urban lights. There is something magical about The Mallee and these exquisite photographs which feature in a new book – The Mallee – A journey through north-west Victoria – capture the heart and soul of this region, evoking the romanticism of Australia’s rural landscapes, the sweeping vistas, vast sky and rich palette.
The book is both a nostalgic tale and an important historical documentation of a region that is transforming, not only from a socio-economic perspective, but environmentally. In the 21st century small towns in the Mallee, like much of rural Australia, are battling to survive as younger generations leave the land for opportunities further afield and economies and environs are ravaged.
Founder of Ten Bag Press, Adam McNicol (below) grew up in the Mallee town of Manangatang, the subject of another book by McNicol, Chapman, Butcher and Murcia. A writer as well as publisher, McNicol’s written portrait of the region also features in the book.
McNicol says, “The book is not only a sentimental journey. It also highlights the green shoots of revival, like the Silo Art Trail. I think it will remind people that there are genuine outback experiences only four hours’ drive from Melbourne,” (which will provide a well needed reprieve for us city slickers once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we can once again head into the regions).
“It was also important to us that The Mallee: A journey through north-west Victoria was completely Australian made from start to finish, including the design and the printing, which was done in regional Victoria.” Printed in Geelong at Adams Print, the book is an exemplar of what can be achieved locally.
As I am writing my copy of The Mallee has just arrived! Am looking forward to spending time with this beautiful book over the weekend.
Publisher: Ten Bag Press, Ballarat Victoria
Format: Hardback landscape photo book with writing by Adam McNicol
Photographs: Jaime Murcia, Andrew Chapman, Melanie Faith Dove, Erin
Jonasson and Noel Butcher
Retail: $59.95 order through @ www.tenbagpress.com.au
Printed: In Australia by Adams Print in Geelong, Victoria
Exhibition: Eyes on Mainstreet
The 6th edition of Eyes on Main Street Wilson Outdoor Photo Festival starts on October 31 and runs for 200 days until May 15, 2021 in Wilson, North Carolina (USA).
The Festival’s theme is “Main Street, a Crossroad of Cultures” and features 100 large-scale photographs that will be displayed on 100 storefront windows and buildings across nine city blocks creating a huge, vibrant outdoor gallery.
The festival is the brainchild of Jerome De Perlinghi, art director and photographer and is designed to bring photography to “everyone” no matter which side of the railway tracks they live on (Wilson is divided by the railway line, geographically, racially and socioeconomically). This year’s Festival is co-curated by Ghadah Alrawi and Carol Johnson. Eyes on Main Street features the work of 100 photographers from 45 countries with an equal number of men and women represented.
Among the artists are: Stephen Shore, Bieke Depoorter, Bruno Barbey, Griselda San Martin, Finbarr O’Reilly, Lua Ribeira, John Stanmeyer, Karen Kausmaki, Martin Roemers, Betty Press and Dawoud Bey.
In addition to the 100 photographs in the Main Street exhibition, the Festival will also showcase the work of its first photo-reportage grant winner, Andria Hautamaki who used the grant to work in remote villages of Southern Chile. Hautamaki documented the education challenges of children living in remote locales.
The Eyes on the Residency project saw a number of photographers including Michele Frankfurter, Judith Rodriguez, Roza Vulf, Jeremy Lange, Ayomide A. Oyeniyi, Vicky Roy, Benjamin Dunn, Olivier Metzger, Isabelle Levy-Lehman, Mark Rammers, Gisela Ajzensztat, Bronek Kozka and Tracy Barbutes, spend a month photographing Wilson from various artistic viewpoints. This work will also be on show.
And finally, there is the Youth Photography Program Indoor Exhibit. Hundreds of photographs were captured by the Wilson youth during the 2019 workshops and Chinese youth during Eyes’ collaboration with the Pingyao International Photography Festival in September 2019. These images will be exhibited in a “wheat paste outside gallery across from Tig’s Courtyard on Barnes Street. Through this exhibit we hope to promote cross cultural understanding and celebrate the young photographers of America and China,” says Perlinghi.