Access Gallery August 11 to August 30, 2006
Opening: Sunday August 13, 2 pm
The Vanishing Farmer, an exhibition of beautiful and poignant photographs by Anna- Maree Harman depicting Queensland farmers forced to leave the land.
Anna- Maree, an occupational therapist, received her Diploma of Photography from Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE in 2001. She has exhibited at Pittsworth Art Gallery and Tweed River Art Gallery.
Anna-Maree Harman spent her formative years in Southbrook, a small community on the Darling Downs and studied photography at Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE. With many family connections in the Darling Downs area, she has seen the effects of the last 15 years of drought and poor economic times on the local farming population. Many of those farmers are now being faced with the uncertain future of their way of life as their children look at alternative work options away from the farm. Anna-Maree has also witnessed the selling of family farms - many that have been in the family for generations - as health problems surface and fewer children commit to working the land. Some of these farmers stay around the local area, keeping in contact with their fellow farmers, but some move to the Sunshine Coast to enjoy their "retirement" in an area where rain is not counted by the drop and dust doesn't blow across the land.
There will be at least 5 of the farmers featured in the exhibition making the long journey to be present at the opening, including Trevor Eising.
After 100 years and 4 generations, the Eising property has finally passed out of the family's hands when due to generally harsh conditions and ill health, Trevor sold the farm and moved to the nearby town of Pittsworth. Trevor, as a farmer, had a 44 year career which involved both cattle and pig rearing, whilst also growing wheat, barley,
sorghum and sunflowers. To supplement the farm income, Trevor also engaged in earth moving and earth works (dozing). With conditions the way they are, Trevor is pleased to no longer have to depend on the vagaries of the weather and the economic conditions confronting the farmer of today.
The Eising family has been involved with other farmers in the exhibition in helping them either set up or manage their farms and Trevor maintains his close link to the community and the farmers even though he no longer works the land.