The Squid

Mount Gambier’s old hospital was quite a curiosity for me. It had this intriguing quality to it, propelled by its derelict state. There was a sense of history to it too, since most residents of the town had been born there or had been intimately connected with a patient in some way. Sat atop the crater hillside overlooking the town, it was a dominant fixture of Mount Gambier’s cultural and architectural makeup.

At the time, I was just at the beginning of my photography journey. I took a lot of photos in that place. A near empty shell, there was an atmospheric peculiarity about the building, bestowing a sense of character. It felt like an aged, benign behemoth that was slowly passing away.

Around the building, many people had taken the opportunity to provide their own unique pictorial displays, many of them fascinating and high quality. My favourite was the squid. It dominated an entire side section, and at the right time with the right light, presented an effective contrast between the creative display and the fading architecture. It’s one of my favourite photos, remembering a formative period of my artistic life, and fuelling nostalgia for a building now gone.

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