day in the life of deniliquin about the project  

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about the project


Recognising the importance of A Day in the Life of Deniliquin as an ongoing historical document, a small group of community co-conspirators received Regional Arts Fund support and local sponsorship to stage the project on 9th March 2011 and to include community skills development and a three-stage exhibition. Local photographer Nick Robinson was engaged in February 2011 to hold photographic workshops in eight local primary schools and to run two community workshops, that focused on general photographic skills as well as a discussion about photographs from 1990 and 2001 and their role as social documentary.

Several community meetings were held in the lead up to the 9th March to allow locals to register their interest to participate, to help with organising the project and to discuss locations and the logistics of street photography.

Changes in photography since 2001 meant that all images were taken and submitted in digital format. This had several benefits: images could be submitted almost straight away and needed no processing; image files contained information on when the photo was taken; and participants could submit just a copy of their images, meaning they could still retain their own original files. Some unforeseen challenges were the varying quality levels, file shapes and sizes and the number of cameras that had the incorrect date and time.

On Wednesday 9th March 2011 it rained almost constantly but that didn’t deter 132 people from the Deniliquin, Conargo and Murray Shires, who submitted more than 4,500 images. Half of those submitting were aged under 18, a testament to the number of schools who participated on the day. Students from Conargo, Blighty, Mayrung, Bunnaloo, Deniliquin North, Deniliquin South and Edward Public Schools, St Michael’s Primary School, Deniliquin Christian School and Deniliquin High School all participated, assisted by teachers and Principals who allocated time on the 9th March for them to take photographs and helped coordinate the submission of images.

From those 4,500 images, organisers selected 350 to form part of the digital exhibition and to appear in the 2011 Gallery on this website. Another 1,500 will be archived so that they can be accessed in the future as an historical visual record.

A selection of images from 1990, 2001 and 2011 forms the exhibition of digitally projected images, presented at the Peppin Heritage Centre throughout June 2011. At the same time, a selection of the 2011 images has been pasted up on buildings around Deniliquin as ‘street art’, bringing the exhibition out into the streets and the community. This website will provide long-term access as well as the opportunity to add stories and build on the historical document formed by the project.

The result is an insightful photographic snapshot of the Deniliquin region over the past 20 years. It is easy to see how much has changed, from the outdated fashions to the shops and businesses that have closed, but what is also apparent is how much remains constant, from children still learning and playing at school to the services and volunteers that hold the community together.

The images from 1990, 2001 and 2011 will be archived so that on 9th March in 2021, the community can continue to document its contemporary history and carry it forward into the future.

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Nina O'Brien-Hehir's image of Nick Robinson taking photo at rice mill.
Nick's resulting photograph to the right.

Kate Butler's image of Nina O'Brien-Hehir photographing the abattoir.
Nina's resulting photograph to the right.