THE AUSTRALIAN COLLECTION
My adventure started in Perth, where a friend of mine was living. The idea was to enjoy the stay and produce a photographic series during the time being.
The first days were all about catching up and brainstorming. Once the subject was chosen, we were ready to begin. This kind of project you don't really know where it will take you, but the fun of it is to let your creativity lead you.
Our visual exploration was about the rough appearance of Australian men. Therefore we did a casting and selected 8 Australian men to portray, still during the days in Perth.
Afterwords we went on a journey through Western Australian and returned via the western coast. We wanted to see more of the country, to get a better understanding of their background and to experiment with what most young Australians do: to go on a road trip around the country.
Above: same boots used for the trekking on Mount Everest and road map
We decided to travel like in the old days, with no connectivity at all, but a good road map in hands and 2 photography cameras in the back seat. Both mobile phones were used to play music during the long drive hours and to check the maps if needed. We would also use them in case of any emergency.
Above left: The White Tree Print / Above right: Marina and the desert in perfect sync
Above: me, shooting the Pinnacles
Above left: one of the free campsites / Above right: Marina getting rid of the mosquitos that interrupted the wine time
We needed to return to Perth in two weeks, once we had a trip to Bali ahead. The following days we packed our clothes, bought all the food and the needed camping gear, and left. Not forgetting to mention the bottles of wine: a very important thing if you go camping.
Well, it's worth saying that our main inspiration for this trip was the movie Tracks. If you haven't heard of Robyn Davidson, aka camel lady, do me a favor and watch it. Instead of visiting both Sidney and Melbourne, we felt for the desert. We were aiming for a meaningful experience, we wanted to empty our minds. And so we did.
Above: our duo ready to light the fire and sleep under the moon lightAbove left: still life of my travel journal, map and cell phones / Above right: (not an usual) breakfastAbove: The Starry Night Print, The Australian Collection
Our days were, let's say, full of uncertainties. We would every morning wake up with the sun hitting or tent, no alarms needed. Breakfast would follow the schedule and then packing and leaving for the next city.
Above left: Marina and the bug / Above right: Orange Gulf Print, Karijini National ParkAbove: Lonely Tree Print, The Australian CollectionAbove left: Exmouth WA Print, Indian Ocean / Above right: special moment when we reached the Indian Ocean
The next city could be a great find or just a village on the way, where we would fill up with gas, buy ice for our cooler, and eventually sleep. We were lucky enough to see Australian aborigines in one of the places we slept for a night. Not so lucky with the incredible amount of dead kangaroos we saw on the road, before being truly amazed by the ones we saw alive.
Above: the perfect camp site inside a National Park, surrounded by kangaroos and a private beach
That's how the days went by: we would drive from 4 to 6 hours a day, then park on the roadside for a quick lunch, and driving some more. We had great talks and great moments of only silence and contemplation.
After a day of traveling, we would choose the place to set up the tent (my task), while chef Marina would set up our lovely kitchen, and place a miracle every night by cooking us a terrific meal. The sunsets were reserved for a half bottle of wine, and cigarettes.
Above left: Marina in a "ton sur ton" composition / Above right: our blue tent and the pink sunset
On the way, we met remarkable people like Quine Parks, the best campsite neighbor. We met the proper Camel Lady - not Mrs. Robyn Davidson - but another lady with the same life experience. We met Paul our spiritual guide and two anonymous boys who helped us with the fire lit and played the guitar under the moonlight.
It was a great adventure. The desert was never as green as those days, once the rain felt really strong days before to get the road. The wagon car did not let us down, even for the unbelievers that thought we wouldn't make through the desert with our white camel.
Above: Marina, Renata and the white camel
The total of the trip was 12 days on the road, about 5000 km driven and only 3 showers for me, and 2 for Marina (yeah, she embraced the style). We returned to Perth in time to catch the flight to Bali, with our mindfulness but full of good stories to cherish.
Well, the desert for most of the people represents the dry empty place, I would say the place to laugh, to connect and grow. If you're curious to see the outcome of your series I am Nature, check it here.
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