Ever the proud Australian, recent events have highlighted to me the value of our beautiful country, and how fortunate we are, ‘our home is girt by sea’, Australia is bountiful in nature and places to visit. At the core of ourselves as individuals we are always unified by this glorious country, its history, marine and wildlife, and stunning, adventure enticing landscapes.
Shooting in a quintessentially Australian and widely known location invites working with mostly Australian designer pieces, it was a given as I primarily want to work with Australian brands for the journal. I focused on natural fibres and colour tones to meet the beautiful landscapes that I was able to capture, and set the tone for the likeness of future shooting and writing. You could say these are the fundamentals my journal will always maintain or return to no matter where this work takes me.
In recent conversation with a friend who is also a local resident of Gold Coast, they frequent Darwin quite often which I have never visited, so naturally I was interested to hear about the Korean food scene in Darwin, as well as Indian food. ‘Many of the university students have the option to stay after they graduate, so Darwin has become a cultural melting pot, creating jobs and local communities that never would have existed’. Being made aware of this has just made me put Darwin on the travel list, which I never thought to do before my friend told me about the unique culinary cultures that have established in recent times, as well as the rich culture of traditional and contemporary indigenous art and history. Thinking on the national parks, beach sunsets and friendly, relaxed nature of locals, I really ought to visit at some point over the winter.
Returning the conversation to my hometown, Gold Coast, I discussed the chosen locations for this shoot that were both visually engaging and imbued with the calm and serenity that comes with visiting our vast hinterland and beaches. Somewhere in between both is Currumbin, a stunning place for family and friends alike to create memories. A personal favourite of mine, Currumbin Rock Pools, is only a twenty minute drive from Burleigh Heads Beach (yes, another favourite). The rock pools are encased with hanging branches blocking the sun yet allowing a flow of natural light, the almost haunting mood of this popular location is contrasted with the laughter and excited conversation of children of all ages. Toting fast food or homemade sandwiches, parents watch on as the children swing from low hanging, handmade apparatus into the giant pool, while others energetically paddle upstream on their bodyboards, innocently competing with one another while simultaneously cheering each other on. A proud example of our ‘fair go’ culture, and something I truly love. Australiana is plentiful here, and sometimes I come with a takeaway cup of tea, my monstrously oversized Oroton towel and a book. But this is my disguise, or momentary distraction. Mostly I sit back and revel in the splendour of our reassuring culture.