Among thousands of pictures and photographs about picnic or picnicking collected by State Library of Victoria, there is a series of photos that interest me. The series was titled “Picnic Scenes,” and it is categorised under Rural Water Corporation collection. It consists of 23 photos; this writing analyses the first five photos of the series. The whole set was created by Victoria State of Rivers and Water Supply Commission Photographer.
There is no further explanation to the location of the photos, except an indication that they all took place in Victoria. But this makes the series intriguing for me. I like the uncertainty feels brought about by the series. It means I can imagine the location in accord with my knowledge of Victorian landscape. I should say it ‘the locations’ as it seems that the photos were taken in more than one place. There is a bush, a river, and a hilly scape. It can be Yarra Bend Park, or Flinders Beach. Most likely the locations were in places that I have never been into before.
Another point which I like about not knowing the exact location of the place in the pictures is because I can imagine the resourcefulness of a place, and not being confined within the popularity of a certain picnic spot. It reminds me of finding old photos in flea market; each photo would make us speculating about the people, the places, and the activities captured. What makes a place picnic spot? Perhaps a place regarded a potential picnic spot if there was a nice view to look at while enjoying picnic spread, or to take a collective photo at the end of the picnic. A place would be a perfect picnic spot when it has appropriate infrastructure to support picnic activities.
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