Claudia Caporn – Just East of Now

By February 10, 2021 No Comments

Rural Australia is dying. It once used to be a thriving, prosperous area, with millions of Australians choosing the freedom of the bush over the crowded, fast paced city life. Recently however, many people have chosen to walk off the land and move to the cities, leaving very few remaining rural residents to grapple with the strain of such an isolated and arduous existence. This series documents the demise of Quairading, my hometown, and depicts the blue collar people living lives of quiet desperation, portraying everyday struggle and ordinary tragedy, as they feel their way in dark, hoping that things will get better.

This extensive rural-to-urban migration has left small regional communities seemingly stuck in a downward spiral of declining public services, social infrastructure, and commercial facilities, as residents continue to relocate to larger population centres where there is the greater availability of employment, education and training opportunities, and social services.

Just East of Now explores the disintegration of regional communities in Australia as a result of the unprecedented increase in rural-to-urban migration, epitomised by the present state of my own hometown of Quairading in rural Western Australia, and investigates the relationship between the identity of the towns remaining residents, and the fracturing demise of their communities landscape. Through exploring the underlying vernacular aesthetics of regional Australia, I document the merge between natural and man-made spaces and objects birthed from an isolated agricultural town in decay, and give emphasis to the unobserved details that produce the stark contrast between rural and urban civilisations.

Just East of Now chronicles the emotional, social and economic toll of the mass migrations on these once-thriving rural communities, and ruminates on the nature of life in rural Australia.

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