Photography students from the Queensland College of Art have turned their lens on Roma, revealing the people and landscapes that make up the small country town.
Six hours drive west of Brisbane, Roma is the gateway to the Outback and Carnarvon Gorge, famed for its cattle saleyards and country hospitality.
Fourteen photography students spent a week in Roma as part of an in-field excursion to explore regional Queensland – a program theQCA has run for the past 25 years.
The theme of this year’s project was “Community Life: An Inner Perspective, Connecting through Story”.
The result is a stunning documentary photography exhibition, “Roma Revealed”, on show at the ABC Studios at South Bank until 17 August.
Students captured a range of stories, including life on the land, the Men’s Shed and the local knitting circle.
Bachelor of Photography student Emilie Ledwidge, who spent several days photographing the rehabilitation of an orphaned joey kangaroo, said the trip had been a chance to rediscover her rural roots.
“I loved it out in Roma – I’ve spent most of my life in small, rural towns and I love the sense of community,” she said.
“I spent a lot of time with one of the locals, Mitch, who had rescued an orphaned joey.
“I think he fell in love with her, and she was part of the family – he hand fed her, and made her little pillowcase pouches to sleep in.
“Documentary photography is all about creating a compelling story, and the closer you get to your subject, the better you can tell that story.”
Photography program director Dr Heather Faulkner said the field trip was designed to help students enhance their visual narrative skills.
“Students work in small teams to produce stories through text and photography – we keep going back because the students get so much out of it,” she said.
“There are a lot of amazing untold stories in these communities and our students are helping to bring them to light.”
QCA Sessional Lecturer Shehab Uddin said the trip had been life changing for the students involved.
“It’s always exciting being a tutor on one of these trips,” he said.
“It is a very intense experience for the students and they come back with a new way of working and a different outlook on life.”
The photos will be published online at The Argusand archived at the State Library of Queensland in the ‘Queensland Memory’ catalogue.
‘Roma Revealed’, ABC Brisbane Foyer, 114 Grey St, South Brisbane. Weekdays, 8am – 5pm until 17 August.