The Rocketgirl Chronicles

Andrew Rovenko’s keepsake of strange times, when the big world was shut down, but many beautiful small worlds were discovered.

As happened to many creative projects before, this one was never really planned and is pretty much accidental.

When the 6th Melbourne lockdown hit at full strength and our 4 year old was stuck in the same four walls, with the two hours of precious outdoor exercise time being used for strolling all too familiar streets (as the playgrounds were closed too), we needed to invent something to keep her ever curious mind occupied, and feed her some new experiences within our 5km travel radius. And since Mia was always obsessed with all things space – the theme was already defined for us, as playing to her natural interest seemed like an easy win.

Luckily, my wife Mariya has a diploma in theatre costume design from many years ago, and you never know when any skill might come in handy. So the very first thing was a family craft project, with our 4 year old actively helping with (or disrupting, depending on how you look at it) the creation of the space suit and paper mache helmet.

Then the little astronaut started exploring the neighbourhood, and I didn’t even have a camera on our first expeditions. But since many hobbies came back to life in lockdown, my old Mamiya RZ67 started making an appearance to capture some family memories.

Once I developed some of those rolls – the images looked quite surreal, so the camera became a regular companion, but it’s still not the main reason for our adventures. With these photographs documenting the time we were given to spend together, in one way they are our family memories from exploring the little world around us. But equally, those memories were made in a very strange time in the big world, so they do go hand in hand. And even though the lockdown served as a trigger for our creativity, these images are not lockdown chronicles in my mind, but rather a reflection of time when we were made to look closely and find beauty in everyday things

Big Stump
City Line
Lonely Games
Mariner Mission
The Hangar
Long Distance Call
Mirror Planet
Off Deck
The Facility
The Landfield
Rocky Shores

The photographer

Andrew Rovenko

Andrew was Ukraine born and raised, now calling Australia home for over 17 years, and currently based in Melbourne.

Photography has always been a passion but never became a career. A stint as a freelance magazine photographer and a variety of commercial assignments over the years provided invaluable skills and experience, but could never match the fun and freedom of not having to work towards a specific goal. This eventually led to doing just personal work, primarily on film, where the joy of craftsmanship can be experienced the most.

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