The Hill That Got Broke

Broken Hill in far western NSW, Australia, is a remote town that has seen better decades. Wide empty streets are lined with old buildings and shops and houses once frequented by the miners who once used to make the town a massively productive mining town and the birthplace of Australian trade unionism.

But as the years have passed and the mines have progressively closed, there is a sense that the town can scarcely believe what has befallen it. Those big pubs with the wide verandas that once roared with shouts and screams and beers and talk are now often, largely, empty. Shadowed corridors lead to shadowed rooms and the ghosts of better days haunt empty hallways and back bars and bistros that haven’t been open in years.

This is all my impression anyway. From the several visits I have made there, I have sensed that the town is in shock about this and while the street names themselves (Sulphide Street, Bromide Street etc) echo with names from the mining history, the decline is terminal and nothing will ever bring back those halcyon days.

I know that many good and worthy people are working hard to transform Broken Hill into an arts centre, and there is indeed a lot of artwork being done there, but to me such an attempted regeneration only comes when the original point of somewhere has been declared dead and buried.

So anyway … I am in the process of doing pulling together a cohesive work about this idea, and ‘The Hill That Got Broke’ is a photographic sample of that.

Here ya go:

Wide balcony land.

Those dark corridors.

Here be ghosts.

Somebody’s out there, somebody’s waiting.

No face in the mirror.

Looking out.

Her Majesty.

Essentials.

Lonely, strange nude.

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