The Big Backyard

The bush and country life occupy a large part of the Australian psyche. Much of our national identity is associated with rural Australia yet we are one of the most urbanized nations on earth and the shift from country to city is growing. The population of my hometown, Cootamundra, has dropped by 400 (Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys 1996 and 2001) which in a town and district population of only 8,000 is a substantial number.

Living in a small country town is a reality experienced by fewer and fewer Australians. Versions of rural life fabricated by the media and through popular culture are often dominated by clichés that belie the individual nature of country towns and one’s experience of them.

This exhibition deals with growing up in small country towns and moving away from one. Remembering first-hand childhood experience and looking back from the outside as an adult living in a modern city.