About The Series
In 2008 my family relocated halfway around the world, from Johannesburg to Brisbane. We didn’t have any extended family and we didn’t know anyone. In an effort to embrace our new home, I made a conscious effort to mix with other Australians and not to gravitate to the expat community.
Nearly 10 years on and an interesting dichotomy now exists. It is clear to me that my South African contemporaries no longer consider me to be South African. In their view, I am Australian. However, this view is not shared by the Australians. As long as I have an accent I will always be considered a South African.
This leaves me living in a no man’s land, a distinctly grey area, sometimes identifying with Australia, and at other times identifying with South Africa. This sense of being neither here nor there has led me to enquire as to ‘what is identity’.
According to psychologist and professor J. van der Zanden and A. Pace in their book Educational Psychology: In Theory and Practice, identity is ‘An individual’s sense of placement within the world’.
Furthermore, Warren Kidd, in his study of sociology in ‘Culture and Identity’ concludes that identity is defined by the ‘The characteristics of thinking, reflection and self-perception that are held by people in society’.
This reflection has lead me to closely examine my new environment. In this series, Australian Insights, I have applied a documentary approach to explore one aspect of Australian life: a rodeo. These images show not only the popularity of the sport in this country but also the camaraderie that ensues at such an event. In addition, the Australian spirit is clearly evident. I hope that my images do their part in showing an Australian identity.
I invite you to contact me should you be interested in acquiring or exhibiting this series.