A Balinese Funeral: Roger Garwood

A Balinese funeral is a unique combination of the spirituality of Buddhist and Hindu rites which celebrate a person’s time on Earth and, importantly, their transition to a life after death. Various elements of the funeral ceremony are spaced out over seven days. At one point relatives of the deceased walk around the funeral pyre carrying offerings and pictures of relatives. Tourists will be aware of the funeral ‘season’ on the tropical island by the visible presence of massive bamboo towers which will convey a body to a cremation. But these prominent structures are for wealthy Balinese. In most villages and … Continue reading A Balinese Funeral: Roger Garwood

Nothing Beats Lunch With a Few Mates: Roger Garwood

To prove the point I had lunch with a few professional photographers a couple of weeks back. During a rare quiet moment between drinks and tall stories among the shooters one colleague, Mike Wearne, gave me a copy of the French Photo magazine which he’d bought it in Canada. The magazine was a blast from the past. I hadn’t seen this edition but it had a 10-12 page spread of the work Trish Ainslie and I did for our first book Off Like Flies which illustrated the lifestyle of Australian prospectors. The magazine, published in 1990, was an indication of … Continue reading Nothing Beats Lunch With a Few Mates: Roger Garwood


I’ve read The Wind in the Willows too many times and the net result is I love messing around in and on boats and water anywhere. Thus I wound up wandering around a small fishing village, Teluk Bahang, on the north west corner of Penang Island off the west coast of the Malay peninsula.  I’d spent a couple of hours schlepping around jetties and colourful wooden boats, inhaling fishy smells, making friends with scabby dogs and slick cats while exchanging laughs with sinewy boat crews as I tripped over heaps of nets, ropes and unfathomable tackle. Narrow tidal creeks were bordered … Continue reading MESSING AROUND IN BOATS (AND LAUNDRY)

… ’til The Cows Come Home: Roger Garwood

I’ve known him for years but have no idea of his name. We sit and chat and don’t understand a single word of each others’ language. But Cowman as I refer to him in my mind spends his life tending to his small herd, four of them and, currently two calves. His cows live in a small homemade shed propped up beside the pathway which leads to a local beach. Most mornings I try to take a few bananas to feed the ‘Daisies’, skin-on is their preference. I call them all Daisy and they are the healthiest cows I’ve seen. … Continue reading … ’til The Cows Come Home: Roger Garwood

Exploring the ‘hood, Bali style

There’s not a great deal more satisfying than strolling around with a camera and shooting up the neighbourhood.  I’ve recently, in fact for a long time, found the work of many photographers inspiring. Simon Cowling for his precise graphic images and Brett Leigh Dicks for his style and projects which involve exploring anything from deserted prisons to atomic test sites and more recently lunch bars. My preference is for pictures which are complex, where colours, textures and graphic content attempt to make a simple image but don’t quite get there. I like to disobey the conventional rules and do aim … Continue reading Exploring the ‘hood, Bali style

Travelling With Brush Strokes

Dreaming of escaping to balmy places while cold and dripping wet after being caught in a downpour the timing was perfect for a soul-warming experience. The antidote to my ennui was an exhibition in Fremantle’s Moores gallery of 147 watercolour paintings from 15 countries. A chance to adventure in the mountains, along riversides, into villages and cities, linger in the warm sunlight at a Spanish cafe or climb the rigging of a tall ship, then return to the domestic comfort of children at play, flowers and fluffy kittens. There were Zen moments – the eerie peace of a swamp house; … Continue reading Travelling With Brush Strokes


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 … Continue reading LIFE’S YOUR BEACH – THEN YOU GET A DOG!

“ … I was bored”

Peter, or Pedro as he likes to be called, was sitting in Fremantle’s High Street Mall. We chatted for a few minutes and he explained he’d been homeless for 12 years. There are a number of homeless people scattered around the Mall these days. Pedro’s clothing was clean, a tad worn but obviously comfortable. I felt the scene summed up Fremantle’s social contradictions. In the background another guy is sleeping in a doorway. On the extreme right is a boarded-up shop and a couple of likely lads walking into the Mall. On the left is a sign for an AfterPay … Continue reading “ … I was bored”

George Street Festival

It was a sweltering dog day afternoon with many hounds deciding to be carried through the crowds at George Street’s 13th annual festival.  Thousands of people celebrated the Plympton village event, returned after the Covid cancellation of 2020. Music was at the forefront over three areas. The Music Hub and Sewell Street stages featured established artists while the expanded Glyde Street Youth Stage hosted emerging solo performers and bands supported by an audience of mums, dads, dogs, teachers and festival goers.  Sustainability was a strong theme. Stallholders offered eco-friendly Christmas gifts of potted plants, bee hotels and handmade clothing. Green … Continue reading George Street Festival

Crayfish Christmas Carnivale

Eager customers, colourful eskies, delicious aromas and a celebratory atmosphere marked the first Back of Boat sale (BoBs) of the 2021 Western Rock Lobster season in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour on Tuesday 30 November. Four boats – Neptune III, Sandra V, Sea Venture II and Vanessa James – arrived with the season’s first catch and supplied pre-orders and day sales at $45 a kilogram. “I didn’t even bother putting my pots out this year,” one buyer said. “It’s cheaper to come down and buy here.” Western Rock Lobster Council marketing and communications officer Natalia Perez Haedo handed out flyers explaining … Continue reading Crayfish Christmas Carnivale