PROJECT 2060: HOMEWARD BOUND
March 10th- March 21st 2021
At the Coal Loader, Sydney
The year 2020 catapulted the global population into cascading waves of unprecedented change and upheaval.
Whilst the Australian bushfires dominated early headlines, news of the spread of CoVid 19 and 'lockdowns' soon flashed across our screens. Every person's experiences of this challenging environment, carrying with it previously unheard constraints, however, had both unique and commonly shared elements.
Primrose Park Photography (PPP) members' works creatively reflect on 2020, by capturing their individual memories of these experiences. The display of black and white works in square format, reference not only the PPP darkroom environment, but also the increased influence of social media such as Instagram on image presentation, as increasing numbers of people around the world worked, studied, interacted and entertained via their laptops and media devises, in response to regulatory constraints and social isolation.
Some Primrose Park Photographers have chosen to respond to their urban, rural or wildlife encounters during this time, whilst others looked to reflect on their home and family gatherings.
Created early in 2020, Michael Bucknell's work depicts the devastation caused by the massive fires near his property in Wingello. Closer to home, Michael Waite's image features a dark, backlit clay figure sitting on the ground, which was taken whilst clearing out and moving house during in lockdown. Andy Rogers captured 'tea for two', as he remained at home whilst coffee shops and restaurants were closed and John Russell provided us with a sobering view of the lockdown experience, with a photograph taken out his window, across his paling fence to the brick wall opposite.
As Liselle Mei ran through her local park during lockdown, she created images of trees, which towered overhead and somehow bore witness to everything unfolding around her. Helen May Wallace photographed a cormorant bird whilst on her exercise walk around Lavender Bay, whilst Pamela Murphy focused on her garden, which was frequented by appreciative magpies who enjoyed the "enhanced visitor experience" with rejuvenated birdbath and edible treats!
Continuing the urban birdlife theme, Heather Fernon's work captured a gathering of hungry pelicans, congregating outside a seafood restaurant at The Entrance, as their daily feeding schedule, popular with tourists was cancelled, whilst Simon Hall depicted his daughter Sarah, practicing with her jazz dance class via Zoom. Christopher Verheyden's image was taken during a regular visit to his elderly parents who live in an aged care facility. Watching their weekly church service via YouTube on an iPad, gave them both comfort and joy despite the difficulties of aging. In contrast, Jean-Paul Versteeg who left Sydney due to family commitments, photographed the household bicycles left outside his doorframe in London, which become symbols of both personal freedom and isolation.
Despite their wide-ranging scope, these images create very personal but universal emblems of both the challenges and constraints that the year 2020 brought to us all.