Felix Wilson, Front of House
What year did you join CAM: 2019
What you enjoy most about working for CAM: Having moved into the region recently, I’m fascinated with the historical collections, in particular the photographs, and have enjoyed working on digitising some of these so that they are more widely available.
A favourite item from the collection: There are so many wonderful items in the collection, but a particular favourite is this photograph made by William Mountier Bale, naturalist, educator and father to the artist Alice Marian Ellen Bale, from almost 100 years ago in Vaughan, where I live. Both father and daughter made photographs in and around Castlemaine and these at Vaughan are some of the earliest from the album of prints in the CAM collection.
Why you’ve chosen this item: Photography has many powers. It cannot let us know the past fully, but we can see the surfaces of things as they were. I recognised the remaining tree when I first saw the print, the small pool and the line of the road in the background have not changed all that much among the paddocks of the volcanic plateau above Vaughan. In 1926 the poplar trees were already well established, and while one has fallen, the other of the pair is now in the period of graceful decline, upright against the sky.
William Bale, No Title (At Vaughan, 1926), c1926, silver gelatin photograph. Brotherton/Cherry Estate Bequest.