In the rich and austere collaboration that is Smalltown, photographer Martin Mischkulnig has joined Tim Winton to produce a meditation on the peculiar collision of beauty and ugliness that characterises our far-flung towns.

In the rich and austere collaboration that is Smalltown, photographer Martin Mischkulnig has joined Tim Winton to produce a meditation on the peculiar collision of beauty and ugliness that characterises our far-flung towns.

Smalltown is a view of the Australia we politely ignore. An affectionate, exasperated take on 'fugliness and the smalltown shambolic' where photographer and writer pull no punches to create a stark beauty, despite the sad conviction that 'there is nothing so bleak and forbidding in country Australia as the places humans have built there'.

By showing us the bizarre and funny and sometimes stubborn hope of people who live in desolate circumstances, they invite us to wonder about what we build and how it affects our communities. What does it say about us that we build places 'just' to live or work in? Is beauty a luxury we don't believe we can afford? Is hardiness enough to sustain people, or does it finally limit the imagination?

Smalltown is a beautiful book about ugliness. It might change the way you see Australia.


'Winton . . . demonstrates what an intelligent and humane writer he is . . . Mischkulnig's photographs are a road trip through the outback fugly, a sardonic postmodern pastoral, a lyric essay in the kitsch with which we have, almost everywhere, furnished the interior life of the continent . . . His photographs transfigure ugliness into art by means of technique and love.' Mark Tredinnick, Sydney Morning Herald

Format & Editions

Hardback

9781926428123

September 28, 2009

Hamish Hamilton (AU Adult)

RRP $75.00

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