February, 7 2010
Port Hedland
Peter Zylstra

I recently joined the team at FORM out of a desire to work in regional Australia. However, my prior experience travelling in Western Australia hasn’t brought me further north than the beaches of Dongara, further east than the farming communities surrounding Northam, or further south than the wineries enveloping Margaret River.

Travelling through the Pilbara with the following photographers allowed me to not only see through my own eyes, but also over the shoulder and through the viewfinder of these great imagemakers. The group included Peter Eastway, Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher, local P.H.otography graduates Nicole, Simon, Faye and Judith and my colleague Carolyn.

Not long after we landed in Port Hedland, we all spread throughout the port. What immediately struck me was how close this industry crept up to where people lived (or vice versa), and how the port and machinery are integrated into the way of life. Through my previous travels, I often heard comments by people living and working in tourist destinations, explaining that after a while they stop acutely noticing the majesty of mountainous backdrops and ancient ruins, or the serenity of beaches and panoramic sunsets. However, I haven’t really thought about this in an industrial or urban way until I visited the Pilbara.

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