For over 50 years Newcastle has hosted regular wool auctions in facilities located in the suburb of Wickham. Here the best superfine wool produced in has been showcased to an international audience. On February the 26th the last wool auctions took place in Newcastle, and has devastated everyone involved.
Since 1956, Peter Meakes has actively been involved in the wool industry, and has lived in Newcastle for 35 years. Peter has worked with the Australian Wool Network for the past 13 years and has “built a very good business and rapport with clients.” Peter loves his job, especially meeting “all types of walk of people” and is disappointed that after so many years, the Newcastle auctions will be relocated. Peter states that, “for someone out of my control to tell me it’s closing, made me very upset.” After hearing about the events’ relocation, Peter asked photographers to document Newcastle’s final wool auction to contextualize the industry and its people.
Overall Peter and the clients enjoyed the documentary experience and exclaimed that it was “something that doesn’t happen every day.” Peter hopes that the final images will be displayed in client rooms, at liaison days and will be archived by the Australian Wool Network.
‘Peter in Focus’ is a body of work that celebrates a man who is dedicated and loyal to his company and clients. Through traditional photography, this exploration portrays Peter’s resilient and outgoing personality and emphasizes his love of the wool industry.