Since the late 16th century British expansion brought crops, livestock and even the names of towns and cities native to Great Britain into new settlements around the world. One such name to spread throughout the world was Ipswich.
In early 2000, documentary photographer and Griffith University lecturer Charles Page set out to document the similarities and differences of these namesake towns: one in the United Kingdom, one each in South Dakota and Massachusetts, U.S.A., a remote town in Jamaica and a city here in Australia.
Originally exhibited in the Ipswich Art Gallery in 2004, the full suite of over 50 photographs explored the social complexities of these five distinct communities that share a common lineage. The project crossed numerous cultural boundaries and ranged from equatorial heat and humidity in Jamaica to the near freezing conditions in South Dakota, and from the American paranoia of someone on foot with a camera in Massachusetts, to being the first person of European descent to visit Jamaica’s Ipswich since the early 1970s when the railway closed.
The project to photograph the world’s Ipswichs eventually required two trips around the world and three years to complete. Presented here is a selection of those photographs, recently gifted to the Ipswich Art Gallery Collection by the artist Charles Page.
|Dates:||Wednesday, 25 August 2016 to Friday, 11 November 2016|
|Age Group:||All ages|
Image: Charles Page Massachusetts, USA (from the Ipswich Project) 2000 (detail)| Silver gelatin photograph, 40.8 x 50.7 cm. Ipswich Art Gallery Collection. Gift of the artist through the Ipswich Arts Foundation, 2016