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Old Film:: Elvie Ruth Bonner & Bruce (1935)

My grandmother stands against a timber hut wall holding my father, Lionel Bruce Clark. This photograph is scanned from a 6cm x 9cm film negative made by my grandmother Elvie Ruth Bonner (1901-1986) in or around 1935. My father would be two years old at the time. This picture is one of my favourites from the two envelopes of medium format negatives passed over by my older sister for scanning. It’s also the first one from the second envelope – the better photographs.

Cissy Bonner & Bruce

Features of the picture that I particularly like, other than being family, are my fathers wild curly blonde hair and the way his right arm offers up the illusion of being amputated at the wrist. On close inspection with a zoomed large image file you can see the hand is camouflaged against the body by shadow. It originally made me take a step backwards, but I can assure you my father had two perfectly working hands. I also like the hard graft of life on my still young grandmother’s face. Another child. Obvious poverty.

I’m not entirely sure where this photograph was made but the stone footings and rough timbers of the shack make me strongly suspect the South West of Tasmania. No matter how many times I look at it though, there’s the illusion of the amputated hand. It’s kind of strange.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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