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Spotlight: a photographer’s journey

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

About rosana kersh #8

Salt of the Earth

It’s not a term I use much but it is a great description of the kinds of people I photograph. I guess I just find Salt of the Earth people unpretentious, lovely and interesting. I’m naturally attracted to people like that. Some of them can come across as hard to approach ‘cause they’re maybe a bit rough and tough, but once you get know them, they’re lovely and raw and rugged.

I find these people everywhere. Everywhere I’ve worked and lived, Sydney, at a fruit shop, there was a beautiful lot of people there; bricklayers, then my brothers, and people laying concrete involving tractors and cranes. I love taking photos of my immediate family, working out on the cane field, mustering cattle in the paddock, changing cutters on the hay cutter machine. It’s those people, the day to day people. I’ve connected to those builders or those bush people. I grew up with people like that and I want to still connect with them now. I do really miss that bush life in a lot of ways like mustering cattle or being on a motorbike and that simple lifestyle. Drafting, branding trucking.

It’s such a physically healthy lifestyle and mentally healthy lifestyle. (except through drought) It’s not advertising and all billboards and things jammed down your throat and in your face all day long, like it is in towns and cities. I think it’s the reason people go to retreats. As soon as they walk out the door in the bush there’s something good everywhere - to unwind in nature. I was so lucky to grow up in that. I appreciated it at the time, the heat was terrible though, and the droughts and floods. Even still I’m so grateful I grew up in the bush. To get that understanding of nature.

I’m actually heading back to my home town tomorrow to Richmond about 500 or 600 km west of Townsville. To go to the races. I can’t wait to leave town. It’s a long drive and it’s a hot drive, but that’s the beauty of it. I said it to someone the other day, it’s like a little retreat. It’s almost like going to a Balinese spa. For me, it will be that beautiful thing of the bush and it will feel like home. Even though it has been years since I’ve spent longer than a day out there. It’s the fresh air, there’s no rubbish, no nonsense, no media or advertising. And again, I guess I call it pretentious, but all that advertising here, trying to make us be somebody else when most of us aren’t…we get so brainwashed. The bush provides a respite.

(In conversation with Alex Christopher)

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