Mark Mohell  | Verge (2012-13)

For many, Canberra is the city constructed to house the nation's Parliament and the public servants who support it. During its first 100-years, the city and its residents have developed into something much more.

As the centenary of Canberra's birth approached, fellow Canberra photographer Roland Henderson and I reflected on Walter Burley Griffin’s master plan for Canberra, wondering whether a planned city could have a soul. With this in mind, we turned our focus to the suburbs.

The clear divide between public and private; the verge, pathways and fence lines dated the suburbs, defining their era, almost as an archaeological dig reveals the changes of civilisation though the ages. Through the demarcation of property we are forced to become the inhabitants of this no man’s land, which is the voyeur’s refuge.

Heidelberg School impressionist, Emmanuel Phillips Fox captured the light just after sunset, looking to the east. This light transmits softness as well as a rich palette. Inspired, we set about viewing Canberra's suburbs in a similar light, at dusk and dawn.

These times of day revealed a beauty in the Canberra suburbs that we may have only glanced over in the light of day. In this soft light and without the distractions of everyday elements, the history of the suburbs revealed itself.

Through this series we attempted to walk the viewer under street light, along the footpath and fence line refocusing on the dismissed and overlooked—Canberra with a soul.

Archival pigment prints (Edition of 5 + 2AP)  

Prints available in two sizes:

61cm x 43 cm

61cm x 61 cm