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A study of road photography in Australia

Belinda Hungerford 2010

This 2017 online version of Belinda Hungerford's thesis has been adapted from a copy of Belinda's 2010 thesis as submitted for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Art History and Curatorship in the School of Cultural Inquiry, Australian National University; it is not the thesis as submitted and may include amendments and updated information.






Chapter One - The Tradition of the Road in American Photography 

The Journey Begins: the road and the Great Depression
The Road Explores Popular Culture
The Road Heads in Different Directions: the 'ordinary' and personal artistic expression
The Road in Colour and Beyond

Chapter Two
The Road in Australian Photography with a focus on The Road by Wesley Stacey

The Australian Road and the 'Driving Experience'
Evoking the Spirit of the Road
'Two Hundred and Eighty Roads': Stacey's The Road and Conceptual Art

Chapter Three
The Road in Australian Photography with a focus on Minutes to Midnight by Trent Parke

Discovering Australia: within and without
Left-hand Drive: The American influence in Minutes to Midnight
Dead End?: the nature of the tradition of road photography in Australia




List of Images






The road to this thesis was a bumpy one with a few detours before settling on a straight path with a clear destination. I would still be lost if not for the help I received along the way. Thank you to:

My thesis supervisor Dr Zoja Bojic for her unfailingly enthusiastic encouragement, support and guidance.

The ANU Art History lecturers, Dr Charlotte Galloway, Dr Elisabeth Findlay, Dr Andrew Montana and Dr Sasha Grishin for all being supportive of my Honours year and thesis in varying ways.

Gael Newton, Senior Curator of Photography at the NGA, for introducing me to Australian road photography in the first place, her loan of research material, introductions to my interview subjects as well as being one herself, and for her wisdom, understanding and generosity.

Anne O'Hehir, Assistant Curator of Photography at the NGA who was also been incredibly generous with her time, knowledge, loan of her personal library, photoshop skills and for acting as a sounding board.

My interviews subjects Errol Ellis, Philip Quirk, Harry Williamson, and of course Wesley Stacey.

Marie Costello, Director of the Robert Lehman Art Center, Massachusetts, for sending me copies of a catalogue not available in this country.

To the Australian National University for bestowing an Honours Scholarship which made my Honours journey a much smoother ride.

Special thanks to Sophie, Grace, Vanessa and Margaret for their assistance with reading drafts, ethics approval, referencing and general advice.

Especially big thanks to Sophie who selflessly helped me through the last few weeks.

To all of the Art History girls without whom I may not have survived - we did it!


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