New inspiraton for 2015

I love discovering something new and today I have seen 2 new artists that Im excited to find out more about…..

The first is not an artist but an anthropologist F.E. Williams who studied village societies in Papua in the 20s and 30s,  He compiles a huge amount of photographs from his studies.  I was asked to scan some images from an awesome book  “An Anthropologist in Papua” for an academic for research and I thank him for showing me this fantastic work which was listed on the UNESCO Asia/Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2012…

Orokolo (Avavu) Hihi Kairu boys being decorated inside the eravoy, from the collection of glass plate negatives of ethnological photographs mainly taken by F E Williams.

The other artist new to me is Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli’s who really wants to just organize the world, His work organizing everyday objects as well as famous artworks  are really interesting and comical… I love his book The Art of Clean Up

From The Art of the CleanUp

What did Bill choose?

With only a few days left until the end of the exhibition ‘Wildcards: Bill Henson shuffles the deck’ I thought I should write about it seeing as I went to the opening….
Bill Henson Shuffles the Deck

Photographer Bill Henson curated an exhibition from the MGA collection…. why do i care? I am fascinated by many of his photographs and have followed his work from the time I started to study photography in 1996 when myself and a group of my fellow PSC students contemplated buying one together, as separately we couldn’t imagine being able to pay the huge $1500 alone, so we could share in the wonder that was Bill Henson. I was curious to what he would show from this collection of photographs and hoped I wouldn’t be disappointed with what he chose, I wont go into how disappointed I was with the Bowness prize which was the last thing I saw at MGA.

I entered a gallery with the customary Henson black painted walls (not ‘black’ but a special almost black concoction designed for the space based on the carpet colour so it was complimentary) with almost all the works being black and white. I felt a huge sigh of relief as I spied some wonderful Norman Lindsays and a beautiful tiny cyanotype.

smal cyanotype

I had actually seen the Lindsay’s many years earlier when I was working in a lab as a black and white printer and got to print up the copy negs of these images for the catalogue of an early Australian photography exhibition back in the day before scanning and digital. A beautiful textural David Tatnall landscape and one of the only colour pieces was a very large image of a man in a plane by Darren Sylvester ‘on holiday’.
On Holiday

Although the image didn’t do a thing for me after hearing all bout it from a very enthusiast friend who knew all about it I started to appreciate it and then I got to speak to the artist himself. Darren is a quiet and sweet man with his fingers in many pots of artistic honey from digital music and dance floor installation art to the one million dollar photograph that hung on the wall at this exhibition. Looking at his portfolio of work after meeting him I felt like I was in an episode of ‘ next great artist’. There was images I just walked past and some I pondered for a while which is always wonderful. I must admit I was a little star struck with waiting to talk to the man himself which I think harks back to those days as a student but after a chat about how photographs should be viewed (we agreed it should be in all there glory as actual prints and not digital reproductions)… I felt comfortable to enjoyed his stories full of life experience as an established ‘rock star’ artist.

Talking and listening on a perfect spring day

What a beautiful weekend I have just had… it actually started Friday afternoon. With a train trip from Belgrave to Ballarat then a wonderful evening with my beautiful inspirational mother.  I love that we are such fantastic friends

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Dianne Rasmanis the embroiderer for ‘figure 2’

who share interest and history and without her love and support I couldn’t create anything.  It has been a true joy collaborating with her on the piece in my series which represents her…

Saturday was my artist talk and I was excited to see if there was anyone  who wanted to know more about my work… with so much of ‘me’ within the work both conventionally and physically I was keen to share the deeper meaning with others…  I was wonderfully supported by family, friends  and even peers and I thank them all for there attendance but seeing strangers watch with interest was exciting.

Artist talk
Photo courtesy of Tiffaney Bishop

(Thanks to Tiffaney Bishop from http://tiffaneybishopcollective.com/ for the photo and for coming all the way to Ballarat to watch me talk)

Before the talk I really enjoyed exploring the works again and all the things that went  with the festival of slow music which was also happening over the weekend.
So many wonderful things to see, some old favorites and new finds and I loved discovering The known world book shop for the first time…

highlights BIFB 2013
top left: Robert Clinch , top right: Claudia Fährenkemper, middle right: Youngho Kang, bottom: Vikk Shayan.

(Robert Clinch isn’t part of BIFB but it is a wonderful retrospective showing at the Ballarat Gallery and is so photo realistic it is hard to tell if they are photos or not, very beautiful…)

The Known World Book Shop
The Known World Book Shop, Ballarat

BIFB 2013 Opening weekend PT2

After my experience with Youngho I was excited to see more work from the other core photographers.  We went to the Mechanics Institute and stumbled across a little opening complete with french cheese and wine for a fringe exhibition called DARK  by the Atkins Adelaide Photographic Artists Group 2013 and was quite taken by Alice Blanchs brownie panorama and moving up the steps I saw the beautiful ‘Elephant Stamp’ series by Jeff Moorfoot upon the stairs…
the elephant stamp by Jeff Moorfoot Then we entered the Minerva hall to see Claudia Fährenkempers stunning ‘Imago’ series of microscopic insects… as you may have guessed im a big insect lover but i have also worked alot with people photographing through microscopes for research purposes so I was excited to see the work.  I was not disappointed, they where large, beautifully printed black and white images with such detail it was hard to believe they where a photo and not an illustration.

We also went to St Patrick’s hall to see Russell Joslins images which are mostly portraits.  They are quite voyeuristic and made me feel like i was watching the watcher… russell JoslinSo many unbelievable images to see in such interesting venues across the Ballarat CBD… I cant wait to get back and check out some more…..

BIFB 2013 Opening weekend PT1

WOW what a crazy, AWESOME, wonderful opening weekend to the 2013 Ballarat International Foto Bienalle.  I was extremely lucky to be invited to be one of the 21 core artists at this years BIFB along with the exciting dancing photographer from South Korea Youngho Kang  and Claudia Fährenkemper from Germany with her fantastic microscopic insect images.  So many wonderful photographs to see from the core artists but also almost 100 fringe artists too which makes this years BIFB a must for any photographer to get inspired and see what is happening in Australian photography (Venue map avaliable here).  My first highlight was not in Ballarat but at Federation Squares Fracture gallery, there is a huge preview exhibition with a large fragment of one of my works… Its strange to see it on such a large scale as its only 6″ square in real life.

Federation Square, Fracture Gallery preview exhibition of 2013 BIFB core artists. Image: David Simmonds

Then the weekend began with the Biennale being opened by Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, patron of the exhibition at a VIP event.
At the Ballarat Gallery I was very taken by Tony Hewitts beautifully textural urban landscapes and Marrigje de Maar from the Netherlands huge sumptuous interiors.  At the Mining exchange it is hard to go past the beautiful huge ethereal portraits on silk by Erika Diettes from Columbia and the wonderful, dynamic portraits by South Korean ‘dancing’ photographer (check out the fantastic videos to see his process) I was super lucky to be photographed by Youngho during one of his talks and the experience was unbelievable.  I have been photographed so many times by a huge variety of photographers but i have never had such an intimate experience where i felt less like the sitter and more like the muse for the artist who created within himself… Check out a video of my photographic dance with Youngho Kang during BIFB 2013 and the results speak volumes…..

new series for 2013…

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I’m very excited to be starting a new photo etching series this year.  I have been working out my ideas for the past 6 months and now I’m head on into the fun stuff… I almost have everything shot and all the digital work finished.  then I get to move into my newly finished studio and get some ink on plates
and use my new press…. stay tuned for previews soon.

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Photography Exhibition at Burrinja

Yesterday i saw a fantastic photographic exhibition at the beautiful Burrinja.  Burrinja fantastic cultural center in Upwey just around the corner from home, they have a great exhibition space, have live music and preferences and have a cute cafe…  I go there quite often as they have a fantastic playground outside which Felix loves and i get my art and coffee fix….
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective”
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective exhibition
The current exhibition in the main space is
“Andrew Chapman: Nearly A Retrospective”

This exhibition features documentary work, spanning over 40 years, by Victorian photographer Andrew Chapman. Crossing a wide range of subjects and periods the exhibition offers a fascinating insight into Australian social and political life through the lens of one of Australia’s most-prominent documentary photographers.

A long time Dandenong Ranges resident, Andrew worked as a newspaper and freelance photographer for over 20 years on numerous assignments for Time, Business Review Weekly and The Bulletin. With more than a dozen Time covers to his credit, he has covered subjects as diverse as heroin dealers, presidents and celebrities.

The work is beautiful and its so nice to see traditional black and white images and not just digital prints, they have a quality that you just don’t get any other way.  His portraits are moving and its a fantastic time capsule of life and politics in Australia.

2011 exhibitions

I have been very lucky to have been involved in 3 exhibitions this year….

 Wendy Currie organised for our group (the catalogue c exhibition from Obscura gallery  “Re-imaging the Classic Print – From Digital to Handmade” to travel to Canberra to the wonderful Photo access gallery   (you can download the catalogue here)

I have also shown the starts to my new works at the beautiful Kallista Tearooms thanks to the wonderful Sandra for opening her walls to local artists… It was a great opportunity to start my new series and get some feedback from my wonderful friends who came to have a look…

Plastic Camera & Cos Play Fun….

I had the fun time of going over to Helens place to do a new shoot in her studio and dress up in the cosplay costume i got in Japan on my recent trip…..

Im still working through the shots so only one little one for now but many more to come…..

Another fun photographic thing i did was to get a few redbubblers together and have a bit of fun in The Botanical gardens with plastic cameras…
Jo Obrien, James Price, PurelyDecorative, Jenny Hall met me and we divied up the cameras….

There was alot to choose from, Jenny was playing with the Lomo action sampler ,Purelydecorative was playing with her own Holga,   Jo was playing with her 600 Polaroid and her shots are great, digital may have a small screen to view the images instantly but holding a Polaroid and watching the image come out is magic… James played with my Lensbaby and I had a play with everything else….  I played with the 35mm pinhole that I got in Japan, my hubbies lomo fisheye and I even tried a bit of  TTV with my brownie reflex, PHEW thats alot of different cameras….

TTV pic of James, Jo, PD, and Jenny….  I still hevnet played too much witht he images but that is what weekends are for….. a preview..