The bush, or the outback, has no demarcated border but refers to the nation’s vast, sparsely populated interior—73 percent of Australia’s territory, more than two million square miles—dotted with 5 percent of its 24 million people. While the ‘bush’ is far from the Australia’s modern, urban and multicultural centres, it has been mythologized in poetry and song, made horrific in films like Wake in Fright, infused into Australia’s history and psyche, and defined the dominant national identity represented in Australia’s political climate.
Through an exploration of iconic Australian events, small towns and my own extended family, this work attempts to capture a personal vision of Australia that comments on a way of life that is in decline. My work captures a shift from pastoral to industrial to urban, hoping to dispute the sentimental narratives that have prevailed around the bush, providing a contemporary portrait the ‘Outback’, a place central to the identity and development of modern day Australia.
Editor’s Note: We discovered Ferguson’s series when he was selected as a finalist in this year’s LensCulture Portrait Awards. Be sure to check out all the images by other other winners and finalists here.