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The Christmas Tree Bucket.
Trent Parke's Family Album.
Photographs by Trent Parke.
Steidl, 2012. 128 pp., 61 color illustrations, 10¾
“’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...”
The Christmas Tree Bucket is a modern-day Christmas story with a dark edge. A wordless narrative, Parke’s story is an ironic take on the typical Australian suburban Christmas. He photographs friends and family, and casts them in a twisted tale that merges fact and fiction. The viewer is left to make imaginative sense of images of barbeques, scream- ing children, a burning gingerbread house, and even the photographer himself vomiting into the infamous Christmas Tree Bucket. Says Parke: “It was there – while staring into that bright red bucket, vomiting every hour on the hour for fifteen hours straight – that I started to think how strange families, suburbia, life, vomit and in particular, Christmas really was...” Merry Christmas!
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