I clocked several years' worth of 'roadtripping across the Australian countryside' hours this summer before I left for Denmark - three trips within the space of a month, to be precise, the longest one being over 30hrs with my family driving from Sydney to Melbourne, around Melbourne and back again.
The conversations you have on the first week of exchange where you're meeting people from all over the world means you kind of need to have a 30 second elevator pitch ready about your own country, and mine is along the lines of: 'well, we kind of have a bit of everything in Australia'.
Having spent a few days wandering through Melbourne's CBD, chowing down on international cuisine and obligatory smashed avos, the better part of week down in the beaches, farmland and vineyards the Mornington Peninsula and driving along the southern coast of Australia in our loong trek to The Twelve Apostles, I really kind of think it's true.
We're generously compensated by nature for our isolation, with an enormous variety of natural environments and climates that many people have to travel to other countries for, and rewarded in authentic culinary and cultural ways for allowing people to travel and settle here across the seas (so let's keep doing that). The least I could do was capture a bit with my camera.
I am, however, more determined to capture things, not merely document them, which led to fewer photos but ones I was happier with, which fit perfectly with the fact I also had more time to soak in the moments and live in them properly.
Somewhat confusingly, this was the inaugural triennial of the National Gallery of Victoria, which is one of my favourite art galleries and something I do want to make an exception for and ask you to go to. I'm trying, increasingly, to capture human interactions in art galleries instead of simply documenting the works (which have been done and more professionally by the gallery itself) but sometimes a work just appeals to you so much you can't help but record it down.
So...Nendo's 'Manga Chairs' shot an arrow straight into my minimalist-design-loving heart and I was screaming internally at being allowed to have a close look at some of Guo Pei's haute couture - she's my fantasy fever dream couturier, no matter how gaudy, and I loved every moment. Take great caution with Sissel Tolaas' troll creations and spend a few minutes admiring the striking simplicity of Analia Saban's 'Draped Marble'. Adel Abidin's 'Cover Up!' made me laugh out loud and I had fun capturing human interactions on Alexandra Kehayoglou's 'Santa Cruz River'.
I could go on about the Mornington Peninsula and all that we got up to there, but the nature of travel is that you will never be able to predict what might catch your eye -- so instead of the majesty of The Twelve Apostles, I remember more deeply the flare of golden hour sunset on ordinary sheep fields. Tourist attractions are attractions for a reason but there's also a lot of unexpected discoveries that can come from looking a little more closely at the banal. And if you find a helicopter field full of golden grass in the parking lot... a portrait session is always fun : P
There were only a handful of photos that resulted from our uni squad road trip down the South Coast in the 40C heatwave weekend at the beginning of January, but we got ~iconic local donuts~, gale-force wind-sandstorms, 10PM pizza spreads, 2AM charades and some spicy NSFW hat game prompts (cheers Ben), before yumcha so, really, fun times aplenty.