Pictures from the end of the world




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Pictures from the end of the world



In the summer of 1988, Australia began its 200th birthday celebrations while I was on the beach imagining the end of the world with my twin lens Rolleiflex with a flash attached. The Rollei's leaf shutter aperture allowed for under exposures that rendered distant skies dark and leaden while synchronising with the flash that starkly lit bodies near at hand. The familiar became unfamiliar and the mundane otherworldly. The flashlight gave graphic expression to the presence of a foreboding sun, herald of an impending apocalypse. In 1988 a hole in the Ozone created fears of radiation and health and environmental damage. And there were the American war ships and submarines moored at Fremantle and Garden Island that too could trigger apocalyptic visions. And a young woman gazing at a beach girl beauty contest, stretched lazily like Dorothy waking after her trip to Oz. A journey caused by a change in the weather.

Kevin Ballantine