Journey from paddocks to the pages of books
Book series gives glimpse behind scenes of agriculture
FIRES crept frighteningly close to vineyards on the Southern Downs just before photographer Alice Mabin visited to gather material for two new books.
With blackened earth not far away, vines were still green and thriving as farmers and firefighters had worked to protect the produce from the flames.
It demonstrated the harsh challenges farmers had to overcome to put fresh food on plates around the nation, a point Miss Mabin was aiming to drive home through her The Grower series.
Miss Mabin worked on the project between June 2017 and June 2018, gathering stunning photographs of the land and those that work it for the two-book series.
The Toowoomba-based photographer said many people had been removed from the food production process in a digital society.
The books, called The Grower: The Heartbeat of Australia and The Grower: The Roots of Australia, aim to demonstrate the “hard yakka” it takes to run a farm year round.
“There are so many different enterprises in agriculture that we’re involved in a country that is one of the driest and most uninhabited parts of the world,” Miss Mabin said.
“There were really wonderful stories of ingenuity and resilience.
“Everyone has their own story and it was amazing.”
Miss Mabin visited locations on the Southern Downs for the project, including Pooles Produce and Sirromet Wines Seven Scenes Vineyard near Girraween National Park.
She said she was impressed by the wineries, fruit-growing industry and market gardens when she visited in August and September 2017.
“If you drive through the region, you don’t actually think there’s a lot of those guys in there,” she said.
“In amongst those trees, there’s some amazing market gardens hidden.”
Miss Mabin said a few of the challenges she observed while compiling material for the books around Australia was adverse weather and fewer younger people entering the field.
“There were people saying that the young people weren’t coming through, children were looking at other things like banking because they don’t want that hard life,” she said.
“But that’s a common thread, not just specifically in the region.”
Miss Mabin presented the books to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
She said using photographs to tell the stories allowed readers to emotionally connect with the resilience, beauty and hardship involved in agriculture.
“Given all the droughts and all the fires and all the floods, they absolutely challenge them but they actually love their jobs,” she said.
For more information visit www.almabin.com.
The books are available at Hynes Newsagency,
110 Palmerin St, Warwick.
FROM LITTLE THINGS: Pooles Produce at Bapaume is one of the locations shot for Alice Mabin’s
GROWING STRONG: Photographer Alice Mabin took pictures at Sirromet Wines Seven Scenes Vineyard, which backs onto the Girraween National Park and Accommodation Creek, for The Grower series.
Fire was frighteningly close to Sirromet Wines Seven Scenes Vineyard before these images were taken in 2017.