My research suggests that most photographs are inherently melancholic, and that this is driven by the contextual relationship between the representation, and subsequent interpretation of an image’s content. My subsequent photographic arts practice explores this concept with particular reference to urban landscape in regional Australia, and employs strategies that blend irony with sadness by juxtaposing the aesthetics and the content of the images. Whilst the compositions are deliberate and aesthetically disciplined, the subject matter is inherently less elegant. Even without people, only places, such images primarily allude to the transience of human life. The consequence is to elicit a sense of the melancholy, rather than the traditional landscape’s more customary mood of sentimentality. Such imagery merges the urban landscape with social documentary photography, by archiving a cultural and social record of people and events, resulting in a kind of social landscape that is questioning and challenging to the viewer, as well as provoking contemplation and reflection. Ultimately, it can empower us, by reminding us that our urban “civic” environment is a consequence of our collective behaviour.
|Keywords:||Photography, Fine Art, Melancholy, Regional Australia, Urban Landscape, Social Documentary, Social Landscape|
School of Communication & Creative Industries, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia