Tim Brook media arts artist On the Line
Tim Brook
Corrugated iron fence

I began photographing corrugated iron in 1994 in a car park in Kalgoorlie WA and I remain fascinated by the visual complexity of the material.

Corrugated iron has become a clichéd symbol for down-to-earth Australia and for improvisation in the face of adversity. The symbol suggests rugged simplicity and disregard for visual niceties. It may even imply ugliness. But the material itself belies the clichés. It isn't hard to find rich varieties of colour and shape on a fence. It’s just a matter of slowing down and taking time to notice. Each sheet of iron acquires an intricate pattern, a record of the weather and the works of men. These markings, like markings on the land, begin to hint at countless little tales of ordinary things.

The appeal of these patterns often lies in their intricacies or their subtlety. Traditional silver-based film is still the only way to do justice to them: a screen on a home computer just doesn't have sufficient resolution, and Internet browsers compromise the subtlety even more. The images on these Web pages are therefore only thumbnails of the originals.

Canberra ACT
May 2001

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