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At the very beginning of my conscious memory is the horizon. Mile high clear blue skies above and an endless panorama of baked red earth covered in low scrubby saltbush, bent and twisted by the searing hot winds.

Endless hot days and restless nights listening to the rattle of an old tin roof straining to lose the accumulation of the day’s heat. Hoping that it wasn’t the oockle ogre who came at night to visit naughty children. The amazing sound of rain on a tin roof and siting up late watching the joy of grown-ups dancing in the dust with their feet bare, hands outstretched to catch the scatter of moisture falling gently from the skies above.

Violent red and yellow skies at dawn and ghostly white rainbows arching over the dried up mudflats. The screeching exuberant joy of the countless brilliant flocks of cockatoo’s wheeling and jostling as they circled and danced above. Dead kangaroo’s on the track to town and the baleful glare of the fearless, frightening crows and hawks sitting on these sorry corpses as we drove by trailing huge clouds of red dirt. Dusty swagmen and silent blacks slowly shuffling by at dusk.

And the red red earth, always filling my view. The hazy memory of my own inarticulate child’s delight at being so close to the earth with boundless space and time all around me.
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this image was taken with an old Olympus SLR using Kodak Gold 400 asa film

Tags

analogue, australia, broken hill, country, desert, desert dreaming, film, horizon, juilee pryor, outback, red, saltbush

Comments

  • Alf Caruana
    Alf Caruanaabout 5 years ago

    very clever!

  • thanks Alf… I can’t decide if this is the heart of my country or the country of my heart…..

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Lawford
    Lawfordabout 5 years ago

    WOW.
    Great pic.
    Brilliant writing. Reads like the start of a memoir.
    Is there more?

  • hi Lawford and thanks… I found this today while scanning old negs and it just took me back to a far away place…. and is there more writing… yes a bit…. every now and then I piddle about with the idea of writing about my life… it’s been an adventure at times… not the regular meat and three veg by any stretch… but I’ve never really written anything and mostly my life is in my pictures…. so maybe just maybe this is a tiny weeny bit of a toe in the water… just some few words to begin with to see if maybe I could make sense with words instead of images…. we’ll see…. thanks though for reading this small start…. :)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryabout 5 years ago

    Brilliant photograph! I love the way we are given the view ahead as well as behind.

  • hi Helen… this snapshot of country was taken in the middle of a seemingly endless series of paddocks that are all ten kilometres square…. the emmensity of the outback is unknowable till you travel through it….. this is just a speck of time and place in all that

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Jason Asher
    Jason Asherabout 5 years ago

    Nice Juilee, I can see this as being one of those previously overlooked shots. Very nice :)

  • hi Jason and thanks… and yes I’ve been digitizing a vast analogue back collection and this came up in the midst of a whole bunch of pretty unremarkable other stuff…. sometimes letting stuff just sit for a bit gives you a whole other perspective on the image…. at the time I would have barely glanced at it and today seeing this has put me in a whole other place… amazing that that can happen… thanks for looking at this and really seeing it…..:)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Jason Asher
    Jason Asherabout 5 years ago

    I know what you mean, I’ve got plenty of older work that I intend to look back on when I’m in a more thoughtful or creative mood. Good on ya.

  • indeed…don’t rush it… funny thing about digital is a lot of stuff gets turfed on the spot … with film you have actual negatives which sit about collecting time and meaning…. and when you finally get back to it… voila it’s something altogether different…. love film….:)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Jason Asher
    Jason Asherabout 5 years ago

    Well since I started photography i’ve kept all of my digital shots, all but the completely wasted ones, I usually don’t even bother to look through and delete “useless” ones – they just get archived with the rest. Thanks for sharing Juilee.

  • my pleasure and thanks for looking…..:)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Linda Ridpath
    Linda Ridpathabout 5 years ago

    such a piece of art, your writing and your image. superb work juliee x

  • hi Linda… this old forgotten image stirred something in me today…. in any other circumstance maybe it would just be a slightly ordinary snapshot of country unremarkable in it’s plainess and lack of artifice but for whatever reason it brought the words with it and together somehow … they work… thanks… I may have to try and write more and photo less… if that’s possible… and with in all that… god I’m getting the urge to paint again…. and that is hard work…. good hard work but still…. :)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • Matt Penfold
    Matt Penfoldabout 5 years ago

    I love the image Juilee but the writing is what really brings so much to this post, between them they paint several thousand words…touching on your beginnings is interesting and entertaining :-)

  • hey thanks Matt…. the power of some images when you lest expect it…..glad you like this……:)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • butchart
    butchartabout 5 years ago

    your trip down memory lane is eloquent.. and beautiful to read….. the image fits it perfectly……. great job julie….. write more……….b

  • hi butch and thanks hon…. I’m not a comfortable writer to be honest… I need to do more practice or something…. it’s not as easy as making a photo or a painting…. but it is something I want to do more of….thanks for giving me some confidence…..:)

    – Juilee Pryor

  • helene
    heleneabout 5 years ago

    The writing brings this image to life juilee – you have a talent for it and I’d like to read more.

  • hi Helene and thanks…. I do want to do more writing but find it really easy to get sidetracked into something else…. I need to really focus and just let it out maybe…. but the response to this tiny little bit of writing has been good so it will be less hard to start next time….. cheers

    – Juilee Pryor

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