The name of the driver of this battered vehicle has been lost, but the Australian photographer still remembers the name of the car: Sweet Ride.
My diary entry from 2004 is smudged where I have written the name of this Outback Myth… I do however have the name of his car, Sweet Ride. ”We are stopped at some random petrol station in the middle of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. I sit in the cruiser while Trent fills up, depressed as I watch the price tick over $160, yet again. In my daydreaming I don’t quite comprehend the whirl wind of red dust approaching from the side road, like the personal storm of the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil. The dust pulls to a sharp stop opposite us and I stare open-mouthed, taking in the full beauty of this vehicle in all its flame decorated yellow glory. Sweet Ride with her front window smashed and her bonnet held down with rope is ‘Outback Myth’s’ pride and joy. Covered head to toe in red dust, picking bugs out of his teeth and in a jovial ‘she’ll be right’ mood, he is chuffed at my interest in taking his photograph. Paying for his petrol and rattling off into the sunset with a ‘just got to watch out for the road trains, they throw up rocks the size of dogs balls’.”
Narelle Autio’s images of the Australian outback can be found in LFI Magazine 2.2023. More
Born in Adelaide in 1969, Narelle Autio studied Visual Arts at the University of South Australia. After graduating she worked as a photojournalist for the Adelaide Advertiser. She worked free-lance in the United States, and was principal photographer for the London office of News Limited. After returning to Australia she joined the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2002 she won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her series The Coastal Dwellers. In her personal projects, she has often dealt with the relationship of people in Australia to the ocean (Watercolours) and with water in general (Water Hole). More