Edition of 750 copies.
10x12.5 inches. 68 pages. 32 color and 14 b&w plates
printed on uncoated paper.
Open spine binding with iridescent foil stamped hard cover.
Approaching the center of Australia, in the middle of nowhere, lies Coober Pedy, an infamous mining town. Coober Pedy owes its existence to the discovery of opal seams in 1915, an iridescent gemstone formed from the water that once covered this desert scape. This precious opal has been mined in a series of boom and busts, almost into oblivion. Beyond the mullock heaps and away from the sun’s searing heat lies the underground dugouts inhabited by the last of the miners, still dreaming of one last opal-rich strike. The men who keep the idiosyncrasies of the town alive and well, offer an insight into the characters who call this place their forever home. Beauty is found in the remnants of this surreal magnetic landscape shaped by extremities of harshness, isolation and finite resources.
Abigail Varney (b. 1986) is a portrait and documentary photographer based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. Her work predominantly evolves from her curiosity and connection to Australia’s land, people and ecology; to explore untold stories that give light to the vivd and complex lives in Australia. Her work is more recently moving back closer to home, working with family archives and stories that centre her community and family.