Fragility of Home … Sydney & Bowen …

I’m writing this from a (hopefully) well constructed ‘motel’ in Bowen north Queensland as the winds and rains from approaching category 4, possibly 5, Cyclone Debbie build to a crescendo. The full destructive power of ‘Debbie’ is still about a hundred and eighty kilometres and twelve hours away. It’s going to be a long night …

Come mid morning tomorrow Bowen will be facing a different landscape of shattered homes.

Seems strangely coincidental that only a couple of days ago I was in Sydney participating in an exhibition at the Contact Sheet Gallery entitled “Home” in which I had two sets of work … “My Place” (5 prints) and “Fragility of Home” (10 prints).

The photographs that made up “Fragility of Home” were selected to illustrate the transient nature of that which we call ‘home’ … and the set includes images of homes ravaged by fire, neglect … and cyclones … that I have collected over the years.

“Home” – a group exhibition – also include some great work by artists Daniel Grendon and Isabelle Baumann (who also co-curated), Godelieve Mols,  Ivana Jovanovic, Lola Alexander, Michael Jalaru Torres, Nick Pont, Samantha Mackie and Zorica Purlija. The show runs till April 1st.

Tomorrow many residents of Bowen may well ponder the ‘fragility’ of their own homes and lives as Cyclone Debbie  leaves a trail of destruction …

Below (top) is a pic of the opening night of “Home” at Contact Sheet Gallery with my “Fragility of Home” set on the far right and the “My Place” set far left. Following that below are two images from “Fragility …” including one from Cyclone Yasi coverage in 2011 … and one from “My Place”. Images © Brian Cassey

"Home" exhibition at Contact Sheet Gallery, St Leonards, Sydney - works by Brian Cassey

"Home" exhibition at Contact Street Gallery, St leonards, Sydney - works by Brian Cassey

"Home" exhibition at Contact Street Gallery, St leonards, Sydney - works by Brian Cassey

"Home" exhibition at Contact Street Gallery, St leonards, Sydney - works by Brian Cassey

News from Sweden …

Good news from Sweden. In a post a few weeks ago I mentioned that one of my images was selected to represent Australia in the “2012 World IFAJ Star Prize for Photo Excellence” (grand title isn’t it!) to be announced in Stockholm.

The news just in is that the image – of Atherton Tablelands grazier Shane O’Brien of Kinrara Station in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi and published in The Australian on the 14th February 2011 – was ajudged the Winner of the ‘People’ category of the awards which focus on images of agriculture. Excellent news …

The image first won the  ‘People’ category Queensland State selection … then the Australia wide selection … and now it has come out tops from images from around the planet. Judges included US Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Mary Chind. (Thanks Mary!)

I have to be brutally honest and say that the standard of overall entries wasn’t that great … but I’ll take it!!

The overall winner over the three categories of ‘People’, ‘Production’ and ‘Nature’ was an image of a bouncing spring lamb by a photographer from Ireland.

My ‘People’ category winning image of grazier Shane O’Brien is shown (again) below ©Brian Cassey

Rural Press Awards …

… not a biggie – but gratifying nevertheless. Received the news that an image I made in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi has been selected as the winner of the ‘People’ category of the “2012 Queensland Rural Press Photography Awards”. It will now be a Queensland representative in the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists “2012 Australian Star Prize for Rural Photography” and if successful there it will be an Australian entry in the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Photography Awards.

The image (below) of Atherton Tablelands farmer Shane O’Brien was made at the end of a day of clearing trees felled by Yasi’s power. Falling trees killed hundreds of head of Shane’s stock and the felled trunks made traversing and operating his cattle farm impossible. Despite the quick response to cyclone damage on the coastal strip of north Queensland, farmers inland from the coast on the Tablelands received little or no support.

It was published in The Australian newspaper on February 14th 2011 … full text of the story here.

Image © Brian Cassey 2011