James Bugg is a 21 year old photographer who recently completed a Bachelor of Photography at Photography Studies College Melbourne. Interested in visual storytelling his work revolves around people, place and circumstance. Often tapping into themes within Australian culture and subculture, with a focus on places that begin to drift to the edges of society. Wandering through these places and engaging with people he tries to tap into the underpinnings of an Australian society. Acknowledging himself as an outsider to these places means the work does not try to resolve any questions but rather document with subtle empathy.
On the site once occupied by a Pine Plantation spanning six square kilometers, now lies one of Victoria’s most notorious crime suburbs. The Pines established by Australia’s Housing Commission in the 1950’s is a low income housing region. Since being inhabited the area has bred an ongoing culture of crime. Strong stigmas lay in the shadows where pines once stood, people struggle to get by, grasping at their sense of nation. The air is heavy with patriotism and people proceed to try and forge their own way. With a focus on masculine figures the work looks into themes of escapism and being ‘stuck’ in the centripetal force of Australian suburbia.This project takes a sincere view of the occupants and expands on conversations had while the protagonists drew pictures of Pine trees. Through these forms of documentary making The Pines is a study of a subculture where drugs, violence and crime are fueled by socio-economic struggle.
To view more of James’s work please visit his website.