Katherine, NT / Harrietville, VIC, 2017 by Rhett Hammerton

image of Katherine, NT / Harrietville, VIC 2017 by Rhett Hammerton

Artist's statement

This pairing of images forms part of a larger portrait series titled Cold Drinks/Hot Showers. A portable portrait studio was established in some of the Northern Territory’s more isolated roadhouses, with passers-by approached to be sitters. The subsequent imagery provides an insight into the conflicting contexts of Northern Australia – home and escape, adventure and malaise, affluence and penury. With the roadhouse providing both literal backdrop and metaphorical axis between cultures, classes and identities, themes of transience and disparity emerge to be explored. Individual portraits are named after each sitter’s home and paired in contrasting diptychs, further highlighting tensions amid inconsistent and often incongruous Australian identities and ideologies.