By Nicki Bullock
Shoot the Messenger is a collection of photography by Craig Beaumont, Jayson Hay, Damien Hicks and Dan Wearn, celebrating the comradery of pushbike couriers, sharing with the public what they see in their relatively unusual profession. There are approximately eighteen pushbike couriers within the Adelaide area, some of whom have been doing this for a long time, the longest working in the industry for sixteen years, and this small group has a strong and friendly culture.
The opening night featured musicians Siva Kokanat, providing mellow tunes on Acoustic guitar, Peter Dorrian and Anthony Jaeshky playing funkier folsky tunes on an upright accordian and acoustic guitar and DJ L with hip hop inspired tunes with a flavour of soul, funk and jazz. All the photographers and musicians are themselves couriers and this is their first Fringe event that they have organised together as a group.
I spoke to photographer Craig Beaumont, who said organising this event was a huge learning curve and that the last four months, since registering in October, had been a very busy time for them all. Both himself and Jayson Hay are professional photographers and Dan Wearn and Damien Hicks are passionate amatuers. They provided glimpses of Adelaide from the unique perspective of the pushbike couriers as well as glimpses of the couriers. The shots captured motion and those moments of pause with skill, exploring varied perspectives and angles of this city. The group wished to showcase the diversity of talents of these messengers who provide an important service making sure Adelaide businesses receive their urgent documents and packages promptly and courteously.
Speaking to the couriers, they told me the best aspects of their job was not having a boss looking over their shoulders and getting paid to ride their bikes around all day – and of course the hot receptionists and all the choccies and sugar fixes from the desks of those receptionists. Their job keeps them in quite hot shape too, in a role where timeliness and speed is important, there are State, National and World titles where the messengers compete to discover who is the best; this is one occupation where fitness is a requisite. Adelaide last held the National titles here in 2008, with approximately forty-five competitors attending, even nationally this is a close knit group.
Check out the Old Exchange from 24th – 26th February to get a look into the world of Adelaide’s own messengers.
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