FOOD, FIBRE, AND FAMILY by Rachel Gordon

As born and bred farming stock, Rachel Gordon’s inspirational vision is unashamedly influenced by her breeding, whenever she looks through a camera’s view finder.

After growing up on a property 50 kilometres from the nearest town in the south-west Riverina, and having “…nearly always worked in agriculture in some way, shape or form”, it’s family of her own that’s led Rachel to putting down roots in the Central West.

Comings and goings on her small family farm outside of Millthorpe have a great deal of sway on what Rachel ends up photographing. And admittedly, she is often catching herself viewing the world as if looking through a lens, picturing the scene as if it was a photograph.

She says these precious, unprompted moments frozen in time can encapsulate so much; a singular still able to trigger other memories about the year, season, equipment or who helped prop you up along the way.

“Agricultural photography is what I’m naturally drawn to, particularly livestock, cropping, and the people who make it all happen. The only newborns I photograph tend to have four legs or feathers,” she said.“I don’t want to take just a snapshot. I’d like to try and find the story behind what’s going on as well. Whether it’s people leading steers around a show ring, horses at an event, livestock out in the paddock, or the scruffy poddy lambs hanging around the house waiting for a bottle of milk; there’s always a story in it. Capturing that moment so you can look back over time. The printed photo lasts a long time after the event has happened,” Rachel said.

“And particularly for kids growing up, it forms the memories of their childhood escapades. I love seeing kids playing outside, climbing trees, knocking a bit of skin their knees, learning from their mistakes… the sort of stuff we used to do as kids. I like seeing that, and I like trying to photograph that.

I think everyone on the land has a story in some way, shape or form. And it’s not often heard and sometimes they don’t think to tell it.”

To Rachel, sometimes it’s about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. “There might be a job that you do every day and think nothing of it, until someone comes along and looks at it from a different light or angle.”

Food, Fibre, and Family is Rachel’s first solo exhibition in the Central West. These 17 photographs have been especially chosen to compliment The Greenhouse of Orange’s paddock-to-plate ethos, and Rachel’s particular passion for local agricultural industries.

Rachel says Food, Fibre, and Family is a celebration of the culture in agriculture; why life on the land is a vocation and a passion.

Rachel’s love of the land, and the people who live there, is evident in this collection.

Food, Fibre, and Family is on display throughout The Greenhouse of Orange from 26 November 2017, with selected works for sale.

To explore Rachel’s photography further, visit her website www.rachelgordon.com.au or find her and her ingeniously-captioned pieces on Instagram as @the17thphotographer.

By the way, this moniker is yet another way Rachel exhibits her cheeky country charm.

“Lots of people were calling themselves the number one at this or that, so I figured I’d just go somewhere in the top 20 as a photographer. A little humility doesn’t go astray,” she said.

Food, Fibre, and Family is on display until March 2018 with an opening night being held on the 6th of December.