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Abigail Varney tells us about the lights and the dark sides of tourism

Abigail Varney Sand&Glitter 22

Abigail Varney ( b. 1986) is a documentary photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Her work predominately evolves from her connection to her own country’s land and people. After graduating from Photography Studies College in Melbourne 2013, she completed an internship with the late, truly great Mary Ellen Mark in New York City. In 2014, her series of up-and-coming artists featured in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. Her long term documentary project in Coober Pedy 2014 – 2017, was displayed at Sydney’s Parliament House, featured at Head On Photo Festival Sydney, finalist in the Perimeter small book prize, Moran semi finalist and announced Landscape Winner at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne.

About ‘Sand&Glitter’:

Surfers’ Paradise. It’s a heady Australian dream that was never quite realised. Wide white beaches, nightlife and shopping. From a sparkling past to a faded present, Surfers is known for retirees, bikies, and schoolies. It’s a family destination frosted with hard partying, hair extensions and tattoos. Placid apartment towers and down at heel hotel chains cast their shadows across the sands but the local community remains hidden from the tourist’s gaze. Tender, melancholic and morning-lit, guided by curiosity, nostalgia and kitsch. Sand and Glitter is the light and the dark sides of tourism, it is sunset-pink glimpses into the contradictions of this place: a paradise planned, and a paradise lost.

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Time to read
3 min
Words by
Staff
Published on
26 June 2019
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The aim of a shop is to collect cool stuff.
Ours is to gather the coolest.