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Griffith Uni captures Emerald life

HIGHLANDS CAPTURED: Sarah Watson explored the Gemfields where she produced her series, Jim the Gem. Photos: Kaitlyn Gutzke EME200712gallery053
HIGHLANDS CAPTURED: Sarah Watson explored the Gemfields where she produced her series, Jim the Gem. Photos: Kaitlyn Gutzke EME200712gallery053

IF YOU were hanging out in the laundromat, picking up the mail from Rubyvale Post Office or just living your day-to-day life in the Highlands, you may be featured in Griffith University photojournalism students' photography exhibition.

Above and Below is on display at the Central Highlands Regional Council and features the powerful work of the students who travelled from Brisbane on June 24 to spend a week documenting the many aspects of life in the Central Highlands through a lens.

Griffith University photography lecturer Alan Hill said the project was one of the most rewarding things he had done in a long time.

"The students worked under pressure to produce a series of works that tell real stories about real people from this region, and that is a really wonderful, powerful medium," Mr Hill said.

"I think it's nice to have the photos exhibited back in the place that it was created and be seen by the people who are involved.

"A lot of people live here because they love this lifestyle and the students' eyes were opened to all sorts of things they haven't thought about or haven't considered before.

"It's not a glossy advertising campaign for the region; its strength is in the kind of richness of the stories that are told."

One of the students, Kelly Oostenbroek, focused on Emerald's citrus farm 2PH and said although it rained for most of the time, the week was a big learning experience for her.

"I had heard that the citrus industry was a large part of Emerald and ... I thought it would be an interesting place to explore," Miss Oostenbroek said.

"The citrus farm was very visually interesting both in the fields and in the factory, but aside from that, I think I managed to tell a story through my images that hopefully people will be interested in."

The exhibition will be on display at the CHRC art gallery until this Friday before being shown in a Brisbane gallery.


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