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The photographs in Nervous Eaters came from a period in the USA, in 1979, and Adelaide, Australia in 1980. Essentially a road trip, it was made as I travelled from Los Angeles to New York City and back over a year and then moved to live and work in Adelaide.


I first exhibited it as single prints, although I always saw the sequencing as constructing a fluid narrative. I did a mock up of a book, which would determine the order and thus the reading, but I couldn’t find a publisher.


In the mid-2000s I was drawn back to the work at a time when I was again thinking about the deterministic manner of interpretation, how although meaning is assigned or ascribed, it can shift radically upon context or mood or the company one is in, and particularly how passing time will always add layers. The meaning of a photograph is contextual, and thus the photograph cannot be understood independently of its use.

Early photojournalists understood this, and often insisted on writing their own captions for news photographs, and similarly insisting that the image not be cropped, although it’s curious that these captions are almost always removed once the photograph enters the gallery or is published in books.


I decided to write a fictional story to accompany Nervous Eaters in a book form, which freezes the sequencing the images, and to spread the text through the book, thus hopefully into a narrative rather than a gathering of single frames. The protagonist is a woman and the style that of a thriller.


When I return to print, I treat the print as a version. I might write on them and scale them differently, change the tonality.
I have also exhibited themed and scaled selections as a sort of installation. I am interested in the idea of giving the images to other writers to make their own stories and publishing them in an ongoing series. There is an unfinished performance of the work as a monologue with slides.

Selected Exhibitions:
1980 nervous eaters, Exiles Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1981 nervous eaters, The Developed Image, Adelaide, Australia
1986 The Tin Sheds, University of Sydney, Australia 
2011 Four Points, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia

2022 nervous eaters, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist
University, Hong Kong

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