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Thirds World

The Weekend Australian Magazine
ley Butterworth

 It looks like a scene of urban desperation. Against the bleak backdrop of an empty car park, three people peer over the edge of a rubbish skip. Are they dumpster-diving “freegans”, perhaps, rummaging through the cast-offs of a throwaway society? Things are not always what they seem…

            Melbourne photograpgher Jesse Marlow had been on an all-day commercial shoot in this disused car park in Northcote, in the city’s inner north. The wall behind the skip belongs to the Northcote bowling alley, which is soon to be demolished to make way for townhouses. Before the shoot started, Marlow had looked into skip and found to his amazement that it was full of thousands of discarded bowling trophies, mainly figurines with engraved plaques. “The strange thing was that on closer inspection, all trophies were for third prize,” he says. “There were thousands of them. They must have cleared out a whole back room of stuff.”

Either that, or there’s a small army of disgruntled bowlers walking around Melbourne who have ditched there trashy third prize in disgust at missing out on first or second.

Richard Martin Art