My trip charts the intersection and disjunction of three distinct travel narratives. In the 1970s and 1980s Micky Allan, Max Pam and Jon Rhodes used photography to document their itinerant activities, whether travelling through foreign cultures or navigating landscapes much closer to home. The work they produced transcends the stylistic mannerisms of the straight travel snap. Each artist enlisted the camera as a tool to conceptualise their experiences while on the road, not simply record them. Inscribed with a uniquely personal voice, these pictorial travelogues chronicle each artist’s confrontation with the unknown.
Travelling extensively through Asia, Max Pam was propelled by a desire to both reconcile and dissect the immediacy of his encounters. Fleeting interactions with strangers are exposed in the complex lines of eye contact that are traced by his camera.
Jon Rhodes has dedicated much of his photographic career to documenting Australian Indigenous culture. His practice depends on the prolonged and personal engagement between photographer and subject.
Micky Allan also maps networks of social interaction. Producing a tabloid-format newspaper to catalogue a 17-day road trip, Allan published her own photographs alongside those taken by the people she met.
Interrogating their own displacement from the habitual and the everyday, these artists explore the photograph’s ability to mediate encounters with the unfamiliar and serve as a compass through foreign territory.
Issues for consideration
- The works by Micky Allan, Max Pam and Jon Rhodes in this exhibition explore different photographic responses to travel. In your opinion, are these images snapshots of places visited or have the artists captured something more? How have they represented their experiences?
- Is the relationship between photographer and subject the same for Allan, Pam and Rhodes? Consider how each artist connected with the people that they photographed. Is this difference evident in their work?
- These photographs were created in the 1970s and 1980s. Collect a range of travel-related images from today – for example, personal, professional, advertising, artworks. Describe the similarities and differences in subject, photographic process and presentation.
- Create a body of work based on the theme of 'my trip’. You could explore ideas such as my trip to the shop, to school, to my grandmother’s house, around the garden, to the beach, to the Gallery… Consider your photographic approach as well as how you will present your work. Will you use single images or a sequence?