Take Bondi for instance. How can you photograph somewhere which is not so much a place, as a site for the contestation of nationhoods? Bondi is invested with so many different meanings by so many different people that … to document it – to collect its ‘characters and sights’, and celebrate its ‘freedom’ and ‘diversity’ – is to do what Bondi already demands, expects and requires: it is to confirm it as the effect of prior representations, and therefore further aggrandize its mythological status.
This series challenges some of the dominant representations of the beach through a series of photographic portraits taken against a painted backdrop of Bondi and explores the cultural stereotypes that usually define its visual history and parody these in an ironic and critical manner.
This work was produced during a six month residency at the Bondi Pavilion Community Centre in 1989 . Works were acquired by the Art Gallery of New South Wales for the exhibition Twenty Australian Photographers at the National Gallery of Victoria, 1990 and a substantial number were later included in a major exhibition The Beach at the Museum of Heide in 1994.