Landscapes: the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language

Article Title

Mandurama Storm


Dwelling, Belonging, Nostalgia, Solastalgia, Sense of Place

This urban landscape, Mandurama Storm, highlights our resistance to the forces of nature. The photograph is underpinned by a similar sentiment to artist Laura Glusman, who writes, “the concept of landscape is not an isolated portion of land that exists only to be contemplated, but [is] a being imprinted with the traces of culture, storms, commerce and climate change”.

The image depicts an anonymous building behind a nondescript façade in the main street of a small town. It is of unknown purpose, but appears to be a former business. There are signs that it may now be inhabited as a residence, such as a garden-style gate over the original front door, and a television antenna protruding from atop the fibro structure behind. A single line still connects the building to the grid via the adjacent power pole, which frames the space above with its web of electrical cables. As a fierce storm approaches, a last shaft of sunlight casts an ominous shadow of a cross, which is mimicked by designs in the façade itself. But it is not of any ethereal origin, and is instead caused by another man-made power pole. This building, which suggests a battening down of the hatches, preparing for the inevitable storm, could be anywhere, and is everywhere in regional Australia.

Author Biography

Jamie Holcombe is currently Senior Lecturer in Photography & Digital Imaging at Charles Sturt University. He has a practice-led PhD in Fine Art Photography, and is an established regional artist with an extensive exhibition record, both as an exhibitor and a curator. He has been a finalist in numerous Australian national awards, most recently including the MAMA National Photography Prize, The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Awards. Jamie’s recent work investigates the concept of melancholy in the photograph, explored through urban landscapes taken across regional Australia.


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