Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Photojournalist Takes An Intriguing Detour

Documentary and arts photographer Gary Cockburn has returned to the streets of Edinburgh to continue capturing ‘the scenes behind the scenes’ for his ongoing photo-essay Into The Fringe, which intimately documents the people and places of the world’s two largest Fringe festivals.

The largest is the Edinburgh Fringe and the second largest is the Adelaide Fringe, where Cockburn is now based.

Cockburn has also brought an intriguing new exhibition, Roads By Night, Lanes By Light, which will be running daily at C, venue 34, Chambers Street, throughout the Fringe. Roads By Night, Lanes By Light blends the abstract and the archetypal, juxtaposing shots of night-time traffic on main roads in urban Australia with the seeming serenity of country by-ways in England’s Lake District.

The work is something of a departure for the photographer, whose work is normally far more tightly focused on human activity. It originated in Cockburn’s photographic explorations of light and atmosphere in Adelaide and Melbourne, and then continued in a completely different vein during a trip to the UK.

"The shots I’d been taking in Australia were very exuberant, full of energy and colour and movement," comments Cockburn.

"While the photos I took in the Lake District – after a family bereavement – were much more meditative. The fact that the images are on a common theme was really just an accident, but a very useful one."

"As a photographer, I’ve always believed it’s not just the content of an image that conveys emotion, but the light and composition."

Cockburn, who describes himself as Scottish by descent, English by birth and Australian by choice, has a particular interest in comparing life in Australia and the UK.

"The two places are very, very similar and yet totally different," he says.

"That fascinates me."

His first two years’ work on the Australian part of Into The Fringe was exhibited at C venues in Edinburgh last August; while in February and March this year, Cockburn showed photos from the two festivals alongside each other for the first time at Adelaide Town Hall.

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