I’m delighted to announce our new book – The Older Industrial Parks by Bill Lane – is now available.
It’s not very often that I receive physical submissions. Most submissions for books these days come via email. There is usually a short intro and a link to a folder of images or a website. But in late 2016 I received a set of postcards from an unknown-to-me photographer called Bill Lane.
It was such a contrast to normal submissions. Instead of wall of text in an already-busy inbox, I was greeted with a set of carefully crafted images, which immediately won me over. The project, inspired by Lewis Baltz’s project “The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California”, sets out to explore contemporary spaces and their impact outside Melbourne, Australia.
“A common theme in American art is ‘the promised land defiled’. The Australian experience of landscape is very different. Historically our landscape was depicted as hostile. Consequently, development can be seen as an act of domestication rather than defilement.”
Lane remained conscious of the similarities and differences between the two projects as his own progressed. “The question for me was how to visually respect these differences while also acknowledging the influence that inspired the work.”
Lane works with his camera to read and understand the physical landscape. “Different building materials talk to us about when businesses began and the budget they had to work with. Some blocks remain empty for decades while others became dumping grounds or temporary storage.”
Bill and I teased out the design of the book over a number of months. We wanted a book that was comfortable to hold, so we went for a smaller size, and that displayed the images in full glory, which is why we opted for lay-flat binding that lets the images take over the entire spread without losing any of the image in the gutter.
We were particularly pleased with the cover motif, which we felt typified the industrial subject matter of the images. We also included a map detailing the different locations of Bill’s images.
Finally, we were grateful to Sean Payne who crafted a wonderful essay for the book regarding the dialogue between Bill’s work and Lewis Baltz’s seminal work mentioned above.
The result is his project: The Older Industrial Parks near Newport, Victoria – now published as a monograph with The Velvet Cell.