Australia Inland

Cork Street Gallery
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Cork Street Gallery-Café
24 Cork Street
Gundaroo NSW 2620

Australia Inland

an exhibition of straight photography at the Cork Street Gallery: unmanipulated closeups assembled slowly over 25 years


6 pm Wednesday 10 July 2019


9 am–8.30 pm Thursday–Sunday

Glance at an outback landscape, and you’ll say there’s nothing there; slow down, pay attention, and the subtleties reveal themselves.

Oaks Estate ACT
Oaks Estate ACT

The work

The works reveal a delicacy of detail and a harshness of ground so characteristic of the Australian inland. Many of the images involve paint that is dripping, fading or peeling, but the images remain photographic, not painterly. The patterns were formed by random processes until they were captured in the photographic frame—they were not carefully constructed like the paintings of Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists, so they display quite different surface detail. Every image is a celebration of the unexpected beauty of that Australian icon, the corrugated-iron fence. After all, it is the delicacy of detail and the harshness of ground that is so characteristic of corrugated iron.

Artist’s statement

I began photographing corrugated iron in 1994 in a car park in Kalgoorlie WA. 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 simply 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.

Tim Brook, Canberra ACT
May 2001
Cork Street Gallery

Cork Street Gallery

Cork Street Gallery
Cork Street Gallery