Gallery : Personal Work – The Mechanic, Canowindra NSW

These images were shot on a recent photography road trip that I took to the Central Tablelands of NSW (my home state). I had stopped on the side of the road to look at a large barn and noticed that a man was spraying weeds nearby. He came over to say hello and to ask what I was looking at. I explained that I was a photographer from Sydney and that the large rusty structure and the old wooden shack in the middle of the paddock had caught my eye from the road.

The man introduced himself as Rodney Bowd and told me that he was a local of Canowindra, a town roughly 300km west of Sydney. Rodney’s family went back several generations as residents of the township and he was a retired truck driver and a passionate mechanic specialising in the restoration of vintage cars. His workshop was filled with cars, bicycles and all manner of equipment and paraphernalia from years long past. The very smell of engine oil mixed with the dust that often layers a workshop such as this transports me to my childhood, to the workshop of my own (deceased) father who was an engineer.

This generation of men love (and loved) to tinker for hours and repair and restore mechanical objects of a bygone era, bringing them back to their former glory through an alchemic process of creating something wonderful from discarded trash. A practice so removed from the dispose and renew attitude of most today . These images are the result of that tour and the couple of hours I spent with him listening to him talk about the town, his life and his cars.

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