In 2013 The G.R.A.I.N. Store was the host for the MAP and Museum of Australian Democracy exhibition “Beyond Reasonable Drought”. During that time it attracted visitors from an astounding 30,000 sq. km area. The exhibition received media coverage (electronic and print) from across the state – from ABC Regional Drive to a double page spread in the Weekly Times. That was what was happening in the exhibition world. While that was going on there was a lot of ‘grass roots’ activity that has helped to make Nathalia not only more photography conscious but also raise the level of photography in the ‘Northern Country’.
MAP photographer Dale Mann was appointed by MOAD as a photographer in residence for two weeks. During this time he met with local photographers, guided them, held a masterclass and ultimately selected work to be forwarded to MOAD for confirmation that they these images would form part of the MOAD web/flikr site. During this time he also found time for his own photos.
Fifteen of the community photographers and fifteen of Dale’s “post drought Nathalia” images are now on exhibition until 17 May under the title “Beyond ‘Beyond Reasonable Drought’”. It is a wonderful exhibition that echoes the importance of the original show and tells us what an amazing influence photography and photographers can have on the world.
It is all quite a tribute to the MAP Group for creating this important project, the MOAD for taking it on board, to Dale for the work he did here and to our local photographers who created some stunning images. The G.R.A.I.N. Store was honoured to be a part of this and also pleased by the words in the Old Parliament House document saying that “Nathalia rose to the occasion”. If so, it is fair to say that it didn’t rise on its own. It was lifted up onto the shoulders of the MAP group.