Monthly Archives: September 2010

A sad day has arrived. I’m getting on a plane in a few hours to start the trip back to settle in Australia. It’ll be a big change, having left Aussie in 2005.

Boxes and boxes of negatives, proofs and prints are packed ready to fly back with me. At least the old pelican cases will keep them safe(er) than shipping them off in a container on the high seas. The airlines will have a field day hitting me for every kilo… I’ll be bankrolling Air Niugini’s operations for the next 4 years on this flight alone.

Trying to figure out how to hide myself away here and not get on the aircraft…

Tears are running.

Skidded back into Buka a few minutes ago. The last few days spent down the big island catching up with a few peeps including the OG Arawa crew from early 2007 who I shot [17] with. Lazy times telling stories, stumbling about enjoying the view and generally savouring a few simple things to put away in the memory basket. Snapped a few pics in the process (of course!).

Now the gong-show begins… boxes to haul, people to see, items to post, swimming in the passage, fights to pick, dancing to be done.

Canberra photographer Lee Grant is the winner of the 2010 William and Winifred Bowness prize. Her photograph Mary with her daughters Aja and Adau, and her granddaughter Nankir has taken the AUS$25,000 prize. Well deserved!

Ms Grant has been getting quite a bit of attention for a while now, and she has some interesting projects on the go in addition to her own pictures. Light Journeys is a site she has been instrumental in putting together that celebrates the work of Australian women in photography. Get over to have a good look around.

The William and Winifred Bowness Prize exhibition opens today at the Monash Gallery of Art down in Victoria, Australia.

For those within striking distance, get down there to see some fantastic Australian photography, including the stunning picture by brokenbench photographer Sean Davey. Fingers crossed for you Davey…

Just back this afternoon from a great trip into Torokina. I’m pretty sure I got right into where my Great-Uncle Don was stomping around during WW2… a little further research is required to confirm this, but my gut tells me I got as close to the exact spot as I have been over the last few trips there. Saw a few things and heard a few stories that narrowed it down somewhat.

The Pigu crew were a blast as always. Saw my good friends, wandered around, swam in the river and pointed my camera at ‘nothing’. Best decribed by Larry Towell when he photographed the Menonites… just a lot of time without the sensational, just the wonderfully common and daily occurances that are a joy to see and photograph.

Saw Sylvester Minel as well, spent some time with him in Marawa. Readers may remember him as the young man who was badly injured when he was taking apart a WW2 artillery shell to use for dynamite fishing. He is doing very well, has gained more weight and seems quite up-beat. Never ceases to amaze me just how freakin tough this guy is.

The joy of putting all your shit into boxes as you prepare to relocate never gets old… never. So enjoyable… clunk.

Still, the back of the thing has been broken, so now all the evil plans are back on the table. Heading south-west ASAP to catch up on a little project and see some people. It will be a little sad, but I’ll hopefully make some new connections to a particular place, and see a patch of ground I’ve been interested in for years. Nothing sexy, just a connection through 65 years and stories I’ve heard.

A day of stripping things, throwing out unnecessary articles and going through draws discovering little gems and memories stuffed in envelopes and film boxes.

The three people who read this journal might know of my relationship with a resident in my darkroom (the resident being small and sneaky)… I came across another one today, a beauty of a scorpion wandering about, tail high and pincer proud.

Must continue, a long night ahead.

After many months of tinkering with how to shoot a particular project, trying to get it ‘just so’, I ran some final test negatives today and think I have it sorted. The little 5×4’s look great, so it is now on to pushing through with the pictures. Everything is ready to go, just needed to put my mind at ease before I spent too long hunched over measuring the bellows extension and sweating under the darkcloth.

Some big winds and heaps of rain has meant that the Autonomous Region has been belted around. Cars are finding it very difficult (if not impossible) to make the Arawa-Kokopau run at present, with the rivers up and flooded.

This is not looking good for a trip later this week to go snap some pictures further down the big island…