2021 Shortlisted

Drew Hopper – West Of Somewhere East

By June 16, 2021 No Comments

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The ongoing series ˜West Of Somewhere East depicts life in Outback Australia. With an inquisitive eye, I become a tourist transiting in my own backyard. The work focuses on the sense of place, giving an almost mythical and playful glimpse into life in the West. Mundane objects become significant forming an animated and romantic view of interior Australia. Recognisable symbols appear out of nowhere like bumping into old friends in the most unlikely places. Having grown up travelling around Australia in a motorhome with my family, a large part of my childhood was spent out West. Theres something captivating about the sparse dry interior that continues to compel and inspire me to go deeper and further inland. The camera allows exclusive access to my memory where I reflect and retrace youthful steps. Im able to photograph my surrounds and collect visual souvenirs of the past as I subconsciously react to the present moments unfolding in front of me. Ive come to realise that not only is there beauty in the empty, still open spaces of the Outback but also the silence that echoes within. This body of work has taught me that there are complexities in the vast Australian geography that merited exploration and that even monotonous scenes have something to say if youre willing to listen. I look forward to hitting the open road again to continue the journey West.

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