South Fremantle’s Dog Beach is an unassuming shoreline between two rocky groynes. To the casual observer it’s only sand and water but its devotees find it a healing space, a community hub for a daily ritual of social interaction, person to person, dog to dog.
Fremantle-based professional photographer Neil Wallace spent two years documenting life at the beach through the lens of his trusty Nikon.
“There was something special about this beach and it was worth capturing with my camera,” Neil said.
“As soon as I started photographing I saw other aspects that I hadn’t noticed before … how important the healing nature of the beach and ocean is.
“Also just the sheer joy of the dogs at their favourite place is infectious and seems to make everyone happier – dogs and humans.”
Neil noticed something the human swimmers had in common. A moment of standing contemplation on entering the water, before diving in.
“I liked this moment of transition, both visually and metaphorically – the sea could be the unconscious …” he said.
Neil has been a photographer for more than two decades across a broad range, from macro nature studies to music gigs to street photography. His subjects have included fashion, architecture, exhibitions, people, animals, music, theatre and the natural world.
He graduated as Best Overall Student in the 1999 Edith Cowan Photomedia graduation show and has since won many awards.
His solo exhibitions include Life’s a Dog Beach at South Fremantle’s Third Wheel Cafe in 2019 and he’s been involved in several group shows.
Neil’s work is in collections at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, City of Perth and Edith Cowan University.
His photographs have featured on CD covers and in music magazines Rolling Stone, X-press and Juice.
A selection of Neil’s Dog Beach pictures were published in Fremantle Shipping News in October 2019 (https://fremantleshippingnews.com.au/2019/10/16/lifes-a-dog-beach-photographic-exhibition-by-neil-wallace).
Website: www.neilwallace.com; Instagram: @neilwallacephotos
Photographs © Neil Wallace 2022