The rules for the Road’s Edge series were simple. Stand on one side of the road. Point the camera directly across, ensuring that the opposite edge of the road ran along one edge of the image. Then I came across a sight that changed the rules.
The Barton Highway is one of the main roads into Canberra. It is an old road, with lots of twists and turns. It was an old road, with lots of twists and turns. Recently, a 4-5 kilometre stretch was straightened. The Gounyan Curves are no longer.
A stretch of road that supported our travels for so many years has gained a new edge – a fence line that demands we keep out. Another new edge, not too far away, proclaims its progress with safety barriers to keep us in.
There were a lot of accidents along this old stretch of road. One can understand why a straighter, safer road would be a good idea. Yet, when I stood there, looking across to this now forbidden place, I wondered about all the other freedoms that have gone by the wayside in someone’s quest for a safer world.
So much tension resides between two ideas that are each so beautiful in their own right …
To be free.
To be safe.