Internet-based photographer Max D’orsogna spent a summer lifting up the clichéd veil over Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers of NSW in this photo series, The Rainbow Region. An ode to the impossible in-between, a peek under the layered obvious.
Raised in New South Wales’ Northern Rivers, known affectionately to locals as ‘The Rainbow Region’, this series was my first foray into long-form photographic work in the documentary mode.
Made over the course of a summer spent in my hometown of Byron Bay and captured entirely on medium format film, The Rainbow attempts to unpack the touristic clichés that cling to this area of Australia, instead revealing a darker and far more complex picture of life here.
Evading easy definition, The Rainbow Region seemingly exists autonomously of the world at large, with old truism and brash new sentiments co-existing in detached nirvana.
As the project progressed, I felt increasingly compelled to capture the strange dichotomy of million-dollar holiday homes sitting alongside the palpable, abject darkness that permeates the settlements that hug the Nightcap Ranges just an hour’s drive west.
Exploring lust, decay and rebirth, The Rainbow attempts to examine and re-construct the notion of Utopia as an impossible terrain.
Good morning Max, how are you?
Who is Max D’orsogna?
The vegetarian heir to a W.A small-goods company.
What gets you up in the morning? And what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
What is it about making photographs that you love the most?
When the pictures work.
If you couldn’t be a photographer, what would you do?
Envy those allowed to be photographers.
What creative references do you find yourself returning to again and again?
The films of Aki Kaurismäki and the music of John Maus.
What cameras and gear do you most enjoy using at the moment?
Plaubel Makina 67 and various flashes.
What is your favourite photobook?