Roots and Routes with Cole Baxter

Words by Danielle Irene

Published Nov. 12, 2018

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Photography is one of those arts you can perfect from any area of the world. You can achieve the same level of mastery from your bedroom as you might in Wadjuk Country. And Cole Baxter does on a daily basis.

 

“As I type this, I stand on Wadjuk Country [the indigenous peoples group in Australia, also stylized as Whadjuk]. Ngalla Kaditch Nyoongar Moort, Keyen Kadak Nidja Boodja. I acknowledge the Noongar people as the true custodians of the land, particularly those of the Wadjuk nation. Paying respect to elders past, present and future,” said Baxter.

 

His commentary on his travels is a perfect metaphor for how he lives out his career: creatively and respectfully.

 

However, Baxter is not a bystander of the Wadjuk Nation; he himself is a part of the culture. “I am a Noongar man, of the Wadjuk Nation. My granddad is a Farmer; he is a member of the stolen generation and his mob are from Katanning.”

 

But to Baxter, his identity is a little more complicated than face value. “[M]ost people that would see me walking down the street would see a white man of Western privilege, which is also apart of my story and how I’ve journeyed most of my life.”

Put simply, Baxter is a 27-year-old photographer and musician based in Perth, Western Australia. Photography is especially important to him. “I first started taking photos of collectibles … that I was selling for a living. After doing that for a couple of years, getting better equipment, [and] learning different ways of editing and developing more personal style/taste, I moved my photography habits to portraiture.”

In addition to working with visual media, Baxter is also pursuing music by singing, recording, and performing. “[It’s] a creative form of fulfilment,” he said. “This often takes the backseat to photography, but is also very important to me and requires a special place in my life that lets me be connected to a great understanding of self.”

 

Baxter has a whole lifetime of photography and music in front of him. He has a whole list of goals for the near future he is consistently working toward achieving.

To read the rest of our exclusive interview with Cole Baxter, get your print or digital copy of issue four today!

Stay up to date with Cole on his Instagram.

See the rest of the articles from issue four here.

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