West Of Somewhere East

Drew Hopper

2020 - Ongoing


My ongoing series ‘West Of Somewhere East’ depicts life in the Australian Outback. With inquisitive eyes, I become a tourist transiting in my own backyard. The work focuses on the sense of place, giving an almost mythical and playful glimpse of the familiar in a foreign landscape. Mundane objects become significant to form an animated view of the West through dynamic composition, colour and tone. Recognisable symbols appear out of nowhere like running into old friends in the most random of places.

Having grown up travelling around Australia in a motorhome with my family, a large part of my childhood was spent in the interior of the country. There’s something captivating about the sparse Outback that continues to compel and inspire me to go deeper, further into the West. The camera allows exclusive access to my memory where I reflect and retrace youthful steps. I'm able to photograph my surrounds by collecting visual souvenirs of the past as I subconsciously react to the present moments unfolding right in front of me.

Not only is their beauty in the empty, still open spaces of Outback Australia but also the silence that echoes within. Road-tripping out West has shown me that there are complexities in the vast Australian geography that merited exploration and that even monotonous scenes have something to say if you're open to listening.

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