Thanks Pandemic

Just over the halfway mark with my solo exhibition, ‘Thanks Pandemic’,

With a busy month ahead of me I’m popping my opening night speech here on my blog along with 22 of the 23 images I exhibited in my current solo exhibition.

Here are the details again:-
Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023
Opening hours are 9:30 am to 4:30pm


I begin today by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples here today.

I would like to thank Brimbank Council for their support, especially all the Staff at the Hunt club community arts centre, including Paulina, Michael, and everyone else who supported and contributed to this exhibition.

The pandemic that swept the world in 2020, is still impacting on many people in many ways, two years later. Prior to the pandemic, I would walk or drive with my cameras to locations I visit often, or see as interesting in passing. Being locked indoors during the Pandemic put an end to all that.

Many people experienced life through a different lens, during the lockdowns. Some feeling challenged others liberated. I too suffered my ups and downs while juggling ‘working from home’ while actually living at home.

One of the positives of all this for me was that I was free to find other ways to flex my creative muscle. I did this by visiting my analogue archive. This archive spans more than 30 years of walking and exploring my home town of Melbourne with a variety of cameras. The last 20 or so years here in the West and Sunshine. I managed to distill this to a handful of images that I hope to offer some insights into how I have watched this city grow and change.  To simplify he process I chose one camera type to make the initial selections. This added to the cohesion of an otherwise disparate set of images, I hope.

Some images more than others stick in your ‘craw’ as you work, this is one of the reasons why I printed these particular photos. In some instances it was the moment itself, in others it was the light, the tonality or some other photographic quality captured by the lens and camera.

These prints are from a loose thread that runs throughout my creative career. The urban landscape and humanity’s attempts at taming it, or at least co-exist with it. Nature has a way of persevering despite our best efforts, wildness lingers and some of these pictures attempt to explore that. Whether we have the desire to allow nature to recalibrate is something we can all hope for.

I don’t remember who said it but it has been suggested that every picture you make with a camera is a self portrait, if this is true then I’m not sure what these pictures say about me. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that point.

Another driving factor in the choice of the final images is, technological. Materials have changed a lot since I bought my first packet of Agfa paper from a US retailer around 1990. These changes have contributed to me revisiting my archive with this in mind and explore other ways making work that I may have felt was not technically feasible all those years ago.

I’d just like to finish with one more thank you.

Lastly my wife for her patience and input and being a steady rock when I needed it the most.

westgate bridge in 1994 or so

All are toned silver gelatin prints 190mm x 190mm.

Here are the details again:-
Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023
Opening hours are 9:30 am to 4:30pm


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.
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