Skip to main content
Until Sunday 29 January 2023
Open during State Library opening hours
State Library of South Australia, Gallery
Free entry
About the presenter

Alexandra McOrist is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Australia and is currently resident in Scotland. She has been involved in photography for many years and is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) and has attained an Excellence distinction with the International Federation of Artistic Photographers (EFIAP). She is currently working on a fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. She was educated in Scotland and has a BSc in Pure Science from The University of Aberdeen and a PhD in Molecular Pathology from Edinburgh University Medical School. She has worked in science research for the Medical Research Council (UK), The University of Edinburgh, and CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition (Adelaide). She is also a consultant whisky taster for the Scottish Malt Whisky Industry.

She has over 330 acceptances in International Photographic Exhibitions and Salons in 30 different countries. She has won a number of photographic  awards including: NFFF Gold medal (Finland), FIAP gold medal (Kyrgyzstan), Camera Obscura Gold medal (Macedonia), Photographic Society of America (PSA) Gold medal (South Africa), FSS Gold medal (Serbia), Chinese Photographic Society Silver trophy (Hong Kong), PSA Silver medal (Wales), SPS Silver medal (England), PSA Bronze Medal (England), and numerous Highly Commended certificates.

For any questions regarding the event, please reach out to the State Library of South Australia:

Discover life in rural South Australia through a series of thought-provoking images of two farmhouses. Each photo entices you to look closer for a story woven within from a newspaper or magazine from the past.

Built in the 1850s, these farmhouses were home to generations of the same settler families for over 160 years. Today they lie empty. While few personal belongings remain and nature is beginning to reclaim the buildings, you can still see aspects of personal domestic life.

Sandi McOrist

 Australia under attack. ©Alexandra L McOrist.

Early settlers arrived in an unfamiliar world where resources were scarce, weather patterns unknown and farming practices untested. Before radio or television, the outside world largely came to these rural communities by the local newspaper and magazines. Newspapers painted a rich and detailed picture of life, spreading local news and advertising, sports results and social reports, bringing people together as communities that worked as one in good and bad times.  

To breathe life back into the farmhouses, cuttings from newspapers and magazines are woven into each image. Sourced from regional and statewide newspapers in the archives of the State Library of South Australia, they cover subjects relating to the families. As you look at the images, imagine life through the many decades and reflect on how life and values have, perhaps, remained constant through times of incredible technological change.

The best of times, the worst of times ©Alexandra L McOrist

The best of times, the worst of times ©Alexandra L McOrist

Were made for walking

Were made for walking ©Alexandra L McOrist

Sandi introduces the exhibition

Photographs, text and design copyright ©Alexandra L McOrist 2021 
All rights reserved. No part of this exhibition may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Alexandra L McOrist.

How do I get to the State Library by public transport?

The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.

You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.

Is there car parking near the State Library?

The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.

There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.

Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?

Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.

There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.

How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?

The Mortlock Chamber may close for private events, check our opening hours for any closure times.

When it is open you can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays.  The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.

Is there a cafe at the State Library?

Yes, the State Library Cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.