When seeking to capture Australia’s identity it is tempting to turn one’s lens towards the optimistic scenes, multicultural citizens, modern, innovative design, images that tend to represent Australia as a country that is not weighed down by rigid convention, a country that moves with the times.
I am enticed by the evidence to the contrary. To me, much of Australia’s identity can be found in old colonial traditions that left the country scattered with sad, slightly dilapidated structures, rich in melancholia. From old milk bars, to barely functioning bowling clubs, some of these structures have been standing for longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is an element present in these structures that I refer to as the “tuck shop” aesthetic. I believe that, by concentrating on these structures as subjects, I can capture an honest, less vaunted side of the Australian ethos.