West @ Mounted ARI

“Mounted ARI invites you to explore West in any of its various iterations.

West can mean many things. More than most words, it is loaded - ambiguous but rarely innocuous. More than most words it conjures it’s opposite, and with it an often-confronting duality. Does West exist without East?

What does West conjure for you…. The western suburbs of Sydney? Colonisation and dominance? The Country and Western music of Dolly Parton? The Western canon? A favourite football team?”

“Asleep in the Back”

Having grown up in the Western suburbs (Toongabbie), the prevailing thought as we were finishing school was “how do we get out of here?”. There were two modes of transport – cars and trains. As a 17 year-old, getting my drivers licence was a right of passage as it was for most of my peers. Although trains took you to the city and back, our cars could take us anywhere: mates places, the drive-ins, that unique, distant sporting shop for a new cricket bat.

The vacant lands I rode past on my way to school as a child, deemed ‘freeway corridors’ by those in charge, became the new M4. Eventually more motorways were starting to encircle the west: M5 in the south, M2 in the north and, linking the two, the M5. It’s almost as if I was being diverted away from the slow roads of my youth onto new ones that want to get me elsewhere as quickly as possible.

This series of photographs is an effort to counter that urgency. It’s ok to slow down and look at where you’ve come from and see it in a new light.

Click to enlarge...