Whilst I was post processing the scan of this 8×10 negative I remembered photographing the silos at Androssan. The silos stood on a cliff looking out across Spence Gulf and I photographed them from the beach. I’ve searched for those negatives but I haven’t been able to find them so far.
In many ways the large format b+w photography on the 2018 road trip (using a 5×4) was an unconscious picking up from where I’d left off in the 1990s. The 5×4 colour photography from 2018 went in a different direction, as it adopted an edgeland perspective to topographic photography. Edgelands was a different project to the 1990s road trip series as it was more conceptual in its orientation.
The photography on the 1990s road trips was more open ended and loose in the sense that I was exploring the country, rather than working on a specific project. I knew very little about the South Australian country then–I didn’t own a car– and it was only the subsequent purchase of Kombi that enabled me to start to explore this territory with an eye for the signs of industrialization. I would have interpreted the grain silos as a sign of the industrialization of capitalist agriculture in the late 20th century and the imperial pastor settler capitalism.
These were anonymous sculptures in a flatland, stripped landscape with my emphasis on photographic objectivity being an attempt to avoid both the American style of subjective photography and the postmodern studio photography that was being shown in the pristine white cube of the gallery space. It was a kind of looking at the present by looking back at the past.