Australiania is a photographic series by Simon Eeles and the first instalment of five books he will release over the next two years.
The series began in Simon’s mum’s back garden in Tasmania. “I started taking images that made me feel nostalgic to my ‘optimistic Australia’,” says the photographer. “I saw my family’s honest youthfulness that seemed very Australian. This started a greater conversation about the Australia I see now, after spending the last seven years in the United States and before that backpacking around the world.”
The result is a broad series, Simon photographs both landscapes and portraits all maximising the use of the Aussie summer climate, adding an auburn flare to each image. “I love colour and characters and it all formed from there,” the photographer tells It’s Nice That. “The book is an examination of sprawling backyards, long days, sun-crisped bodies and faded bathers. It’s a tender and wry postcard to home, from a place where memories have faded and reformed. While I play with archetypes, stereotypes and Australia’s reputation, the work remains anchored in the present.”
Simon’s process is based upon his own experience and travel. “The images are echoes of me. I wanted to paint Australia as it is, through the peopled colour. Funnily enough, most people I photographed were first generation immigrants or tourists – which really is Australia more than the classic stereotype of Crocodile Dundee…”
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