playground, Andamooka

A picture of the past. A  picture of life in a frontier mining world of Andamooka. 

It's not much of a backyard or  playground is it, at the foot of the  opal mine tailings.  My memory of Andamooka is that the dust  from the mine tailings was everywhere, layered over everything. It was hot and the atmosphere was arid.  

What this photo from the archives does is bring the past--that has been---into the present.    In offering  an image of the past it opens  up history, allowing us to see the past---what  once was; allowing us an insight into the lives that were lived in a frontier mining town; allowing us to imagine a life lived among the dust from  the mine tailings next to the traditional tin houses of old.    

It's a  remnant of the town's past --a different remnant  to  the raditional dugout style houses of old that was  pictured in the previous post. 

miners hut, Andamooka

This picture of  an  opal miners hut  at Andamooka in South Australia, which  is from  my film archives ---  an example of  ordinariness or a deadpan aesthetic that was made whilst  travelling on the margins of modernity.

Like the previous images  the picture was  made with a Leica M4-P, with a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film.   As previously mentioned in an earlier post  I discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5.   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera. I had no knowledge of digital cameras. 

B.Construction, Andamooka

From the  film archives.  

This  is another  image that I came across when I was going through my film archives. A public sculpture at Andamooka in South Australia. The picture was  made with a Leica M4-P,  a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film:

 As I mentioned in an earlier post I  discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera.

Andamooka grave

From the archives.  

A miner's grave at Andamooka in South Australia made with a Leica M4-P,  a 50mm  f.2 Summicron lens and Kodak 400ASA film:

 I only came across this image when I was going through my film archives. I discovered a roll of film I'd exposed whilst I was  visiting  Andamooka circa 2004-5   My film work at the time--35mm and medium format--- was usually developed and scanned by a pro-lab, but for some reason this roll hadn't been scanned.  This was  several years prior to  buying my first  digital camera.

Australia's past: Andamooka

Things have meaning in part because of the way we see things, based on our own historical context.  An example is the conception of Australia as the Lucky Country  because it was the world's quarry.  Donald Horne, who coined the Lucky Country phrase,   used it in an  ironical mode. 

Horne was critiquing an Australia that did not think for itself; a country manacled to its past; and 'still in colonial blinkers'. It was meant as an indictment of an unimaginative nation, its cosy provincialism, its cultural cringe, its second rate politicians,  and its White Australia policy.  Horne's irony is usually  overlooked. 

Old resource based Australia  is  a particular  historical pattern of vision. A week in Andamooka, in northern South Australia indicated that  it was a strange place--a frontier land. The town was full of mine tailings  as was the surrounding landscape. This was a quarry economy. It  indicated  mining's "boom and bust" economics,  and  that  mining, by its nature, involves the environmental damage to  the land. This  often has serious consequences for the surrounding environment.