I keep talking about the skies this summer, here’s a sample.
Australian Centre for Photography closing.
I visited the space when I was in Sydney while it was still at its Paddington Street address several times of the years. For me however, the CCP in Melbourne is more central to the medium and the local art scene than the ACP ever was. The Sydney Morning Herald article suggests one of the losses of income plaguing the centre was teaching. Something that never attracted me either. So really I feel the ACP was very Sydney-centric. Perhaps the CCP is Melbourne-centric?
Walking during the pandemic allows me on occasion to capture rare moments in odd places. This is no exception. We have been confined to our homes and a 5 kilometre radius for what feels like an eternity now. Most of the time I have been busy working from home. The school term break was slightly different. I think these last two weeks I have walked more kilometres than in the last 2 years combined.
These freight trains a regular sight in Sunshine, however this is North Sunshine a section I rarely wander. As is often the case all I had with me was my Phone so I snapped off a handful of pictures, after processing them in Luminar 4, I chose this one.
I have Luminar “partner” account code. Clicking the above link helps me with some rewards. It’s a great replacement for Photoshop in my opinion.
There is plenty being written about the pandemic across every political spectrum. This article turned up in my newsfeed on Facebook recently. The title Melbourne is not a city in revolt. The truth is far more incredible (and far more boring) says plenty, but the article really sums up how many ordinary folks are feeling myself included.
This view has gone. More residential and office space has filled the small green space left in this obscure pocket of Melbourne. I made this picture in June 2013. The World Trade Centre building is gone as well. The famous statue, Bunjil is slated to be moved from Wurundjeri Way to an as yet decided location.
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The response to the pandemic in the arts industry has been overwhelmingly positive. SALA is running its entire festival through artists websites this year. I have been very fortunate in that Gary Sauer-Thompson via his studio in Encounter Bay invited me to exhibit with an idea that explored the pandemic. The online exhibition is entitled, ‘Walking/Photography’, its premise is simple:-
“The exhibition explores the interrelationships between these two modes of being-in-the-world. The ethos is to go for a walk in your local area, where you can find what you don’t know you are looking for. It is a step into the photographic unknown that uncovers the forgotten or buried history of the area.”
The ‘exhibtion’ opens on the 1st of August and runs until the 30th of September.
Originally posted on another platform I’m re-posting here for prosperity with a minor edit.
|Winter light prompted me to get my 5×4 inch monorail camera out.|
I have been interested in making pictures in the Urban Landscape since 1988. I began my photography studies in 1987. After 2 years I realised I was mostly interested in photographing the landscape and in the context of art. I spent the next 3 years undertaking a fine art degree. This allowed me to think about the what the why and how of art making. Could I try and make art this way?
In the beginning my work was influenced by Ansel Adams, and the idea of a sublime landscape. Images made in his style, and of similar subject matter were the kind I aspired to. As an urban dweller most of my life, trips to the ‘wild/sublime’ were infrequent and determined by my free time. What this meant was, it was difficult to really capture imagery that was truly ‘sublime’.
Light in Australia is at its best in the shoulder periods leading up to autumn and spring. Winter light when it shines is also wonderful. Of course light is often best in the magic hour any time of the year. Magic hour in the suburbs is easy to chase, in the outback, not so. Most ‘wild or sublime’ locations in Melbourne are at a minimum one hours drive away. So getting to this kind of location is time consuming and can be difficult, even with a car. The urban landscape is all around me. I can catch public transport there if I need and even on occasion walk.
While at University I was introduced to Joe Deal’s work. In particular the San Andreas Fault series [see image from sofomoma.org below]. The idea that images of a constructed or altered landscape could be valuable and interesting helped me look in other directions. Other Photographers and Artists I was introduced to in this period included, Robert Adams, Frank Gohkle, Hille and Bernd Becher, Lewis Baltz, Henry Wessel Jr. No photographer worth their salt can neglect to mention the pivotal 1976 exhibitor at George Eastman House, “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape” either.
I am involved in several groups on flickr that share pictures in a similar vein. The idea still flourishes to this day and is almost a worldwide movement.
When I’m out to making pictures, mentally I go to a ‘place’. A place that is hard to describe but very beneficial. It engages my brain in a way where I am in the moment like no other activity I engage in. Time disappears. Just a series of small decisions. Left? Right? Up? Down? Looking without thinking and at the same time only looking and thinking? This is my main motivation that almost zenlike state I enter when alone in the urban landscape with my cameras.
Then there are projects. Everyone has a project. Myself included. Some online some tangible objects. Some well formed, some roughly mapped in my head, others complete. Pictures however are only ever pictures. We attach meaning and substance to them as a kind of construct, loaded with our own biases and prejudices.
On the 5th of July 2019. The light was magnificent, as it often is in Melbourne mid winter. I went outside and made some pictures with both colour and black and white film, in 120mm and large format. Because the light struck me as well as the mood. And because it felt right.