darwin: home of the b-52 bomber

It's true - Darwin is home to one of only three B-52 bombers outside of the US. The massive aircraft is on display at the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre on Stuart Highway, Darwin, NT. Now, I haven't actually seen the B-52, but I know it is there because the sign out the front of the Heritage Centre told me so. And I read the sign because I was fascinated by the curiously shaped, bizarrely decorated construction, pictured above, that sits right next to the Heritage Centre. Alas, the sign didn't tell me anything about this wonderful anomaly on the otherwise bland stretch of highway, and so I am left with this image and the adjoining museum's sign as the only clues to the purpose of its existence.

The film I was using isn't my regular slide film and apparently it was a bit sneaky in its between-shot movement; as it dangled boisterously from the strap around my neck, the various knocks and bumps urged the film on half a shot so that it ended up crossing over into the adjoining exposure. I don't think the effect is awful, though, and in fact I kind of like it. Adding to its allure is the thematic link between the intertwined images:

This is another strange building on an otherwise barren stretch of road. It's a very small church that looks to be constructed entirely out of concrete or brick, which has then been painted according to a striking white and pale blue colour scheme. Its small windows look like they are stained glass, and from the roadside there even appears to be some kind of doggy-door that no grown person could fit through. Like the B-52 monument (?), this building appears to have been plonked on the side of the road with no obvious connection to anything in its immediate surroundings. Moreover, neither building looks like they could (or do) function in any practical way. My tour guide (aka my sister) was kind enough to take me on a trip especially to capture these two oddities on film, because she understood my immediate fascination with their apparent arbitrariness.

I was thrilled to experience the eccentricity of Darwin during the week I spent there. I can't imagine any other place in the world being quite like it, and I was thoroughly excited to catch a small part of it through my lenses. My various impressions of Darwin will feature over the coming posts, as will my newfound photographic equipment that I agonised over in my previous post. But tonight I thought I would just offer a couple of interesting Holga images depicting slightly surreal constructions in an extremely unique place.

1 comment:

  1. I like how the exposed sliver in the second shot manages to frame the church perfectly - pretty!