From Doom-scrolling to Darkroom

St.Albans paddock with pylons and burnt grass
Circa 1989, St.Albans 19 x 19 cm silver gelatin print. Printed 2021

Today was the beginning of the term break for me as I only work 3 days a week now. I managed to procrastinate online all morning. I fitted in some quality time in my darkroom after lunch though. I have a solo exhibition application in the works. So if I’m accepted into the space I want to have plenty of time to make the best quality prints I can. The negatives span more than 30 years of shooting film and are mostly images that I have liked for and of themselves. But may not have fitted in with other series and bodies of work I exhibited in the past.

It’s a bit weird working with such old negatives. I started in my first year of University with a Mamiya medium format TLR camera. I used Microdol-X as my developer in those days. I now use a Hasselblad as my main medium format camera. Recently switched to Xtol too, a commercial developer also by Kodak. Prior to switching I had used a home made developer called D25. I’m still using the same film though, Kodak T-max 400.

Papers too, have changed radically since 1989 when I was at University. Now most papers are multi-contrast as opposed to graded. This is actually a good thing as I feel I can eke more out of a negative using the 2 extreme filters, 00 and 5. A technique called ‘split filter printing’.

I hope then to better match my expectations of an image using the split filter printing system, and a variety of home made paper developers. Compared to my University days, when a neg may have been put aside due to it not being able to printed well on a single grade of paper.
The differences between cameras and eras seems noticeable. The developer not so much. I switched film developers mainly for environmental reasons but technique also played a part in that decision too. I touched base with an old teacher a couple of summers back and he suggested the change.

The weird part is as I’m not really working to a fixed time frame, I have all the time in the world to muck around as I make each print. Some are just “falling” out of the enlarger, others are requiring many test strips and prints. I plan on exhibiting about 14 to 18 prints. Pinned directly to the walls of the gallery.

I applied to exhibit in October 2022.

Fingers crossed.

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2022 Solo Show Application

I have applied to the Sunshine Community Arts Space for another solo show in 2022.

Here are some images that formed part of the application and potentially part of the exhibition.

The images form part of a larger archive and at one level are simply images I’ve always connected to, but not actually printed to exhibit in the past.

Like the last solo show in 2019, these prints will be small about 18 cms square. However this time I am not framing, just pinning, to the wall.

2 Friends on a location photography excursion in about 1990
Glen & Les near the You Yangs about 1990
Swamp under the Westgate Bridge about 1989
Swamp under the Westgate Bridge about 1989
Outside the National Gallery in Canberra, in about 1993
Outside the National Gallery in Canberra, in about 1993
A view from Melbourne looking east atop a skyscraper around 1990
A view from Melbourne looking east atop a skyscraper around 1990

The work comes for a place that I have been situated in since the beginning of the pandemic. Relying mainly on my archives and my darkroom. I initially set out to make a small artist book, using contact printed negs. This process lead me to realise I could make a small solo show or two from the images I collated. All up I looked at over 539 medium format contact sheets from 1988 to 2021. The first edit for the book culled this down to about 80 images. This was too many for the book I had planned. The excess images may then make up several solo exhibitions.

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Reasons to be elsewhere #20210612

news photo by the guardian depicting Chinese mission staff face-off with police, London. Peter Johns, 1967
Chinese mission staff face-off with police, London. Peter Johns, 1967. Courtesy, Guardian News & Media Archive.

The Photographer’s Gallery in London is exhibiting parts of the Archive of The Guardian Newspaper to, “…delve into the legendary Guardian picture library, to explore photojournalism across the 20th Century and the various ways in which a liberal press employs images to elaborate themes such as feminism, nationalism, post-colonialism, racism, industrial relations, immigration, class and the climate crisis.”

Sadly any travel is still off the cards for the foreseeable future. Who said the tyranny of distance was dead?

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A new Online Exhibition At Thought Factory

Screengrab of front page of the exhibition
Screengrab of front page of the exhibition

Abstraction: different interpretations.

This exhibition features the photography of  Adam Dutkiewicz and Gary Sauer-Thompson. The work in the exhibition builds on the Monash Gallery of Art’s 2012 exhibition entitled Photographic Abstractions ; two earlier abstraction exhibitions curated by Gary Sauer-Thompson at the Centre of Creative Photography in Adelaide, South Australian ( 2016 and 2017 ); the photographic abstraction tradition constructed in the Abstract Photography book by Adam Jan Dutkiewicz and Gary Sauer-Thompson published by Moon Arrow Press in 2016; and Gary’s minor photography in Thoughtfactory’s abstraction blog.

The first 12 images in the exhibition are by Adam Jan Dutkiewicz; the second 12 images are by Gary Sauer-Thompson.

Abstraction: different interpretations – Thought Factory:

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World’s First Photography Exhibition In Space!

BJP's Exhibition in space
Screen grab of BJP’s Exhibition in space

The British Journal of Photography has launched an exhibition in space. It is a 45 minute screen based exhibition beamed from above the earth.

From their website, about the exhibition.

Drawn from Portrait of Humanity, a movement seeking to prove there is more that unites us than sets us apart, the exhibited images showcase the many faces of communities across the world, celebrating humanity in its countless variations.

While the global pandemic forces museums and galleries to remain closed, the film should remind us of our universal bonds, despite being forced apart, with vivid images slowly scrolling across a framed-screen, exhibited against the backdrop of our collective home below.

 

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Covid 19 Responses


Many individuals and organisations have responded to the Pandemic. Here is a website that collates a group of photographers who are contemplating the place we find ourselves in as a culture.

From the about page:-

2020. A new decade represented by climate change, bushfires, drought, a global pandemic and the threat of a great depression. For thousands who work in the arts their immediate and future livelihoods have been dramatically impacted.

As a way of helping to bring our industry together and support the artists, The Kitchen Creative Management in collaboration with Christopher Doyle & Co, SUNSTUDIOS and Momento Pro, have curated this online exhibition to showcase innovative works conceived in 2020.

“Between Today and Tomorrow” is a repository of a society’s collective memory – preserving the artists experience of how it feels to exist in a particular place at a particular time. The time of COVID-19.

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2020 Bowness Shortlist

The 2020 Bowness Shortlist has been announced.

Congratulations to the successful applicants, some of who I know in person; and a couple I have even worked with.

The shortlist is:-

Klari Agar, Belinda Allen, Sam Amar, Riste Andrievski, Emma Armstrong-Porter, Zoe Arnott, Robert Ashton, Narelle Autio, Reza Bagheri, Kate Baker, Charlie Barker, Chris Barry, Chris Bekos, Madeline Bishop, Tom Blachford, Paul Blackmore, Chris Bond and Drew Pettifer, Jesse Boyd-Reid, Jane Brown, Karen Burgess, Jane Burton, Danica Chappell, Ali Choudhry, Peta Clancy, Michael Cook, Nici Cumpston, Matteo Dal Vera and Michael Weatherill, Tamara Dean, Karla Dickens, Stephen Dupont, Louise Faulkner, Jacqueline Felstead, Anne Ferran, Ash Garwood, Amos Gebhardt, Tom Goldner, John Gollings, Philip Gostelow, Helen Grace, Lee Grant, Janina Green, Helen Grogan, Ponch Hawkes, Leila Jeffreys, Shea Kirk, Shivanjani Lal, Kelvin Lau, Honey Long and Prue Stent, Fiona MacDonald, Alister McKeich, Izabela Pluta, Greg Semu, Damien Shen, Slippage, Valerie Sparks, Cyrus Tang, Christian Thompson, Louise Whelan, Amanda Williams, Anne Zahalka

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Walking & Photography [Online Exhibition]

screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson
screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson

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.

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Solo Exhibition a year ago

Almost 12 months ago I had a solo exhibition of silver gelatin prints at Sunshine Art Spaces. Sadly I made virtually no installation images. I have this short video and a handful of iPhone snaps.

Here are the stills

I did however blog about it over on my old blogspot blog

Online Exhibition Opportunities?

Hong Kong 2005-04-07 12:50:57
A lone walker is both present and detached, more than an audience but less than a participant. Walking assuages or legitimizes this alienation.” – Rebecca Solnit, from Wanderlust: A History of Walking.

There is something therapeutic about going on walks and taking pictures – sometimes aimless, sometimes with calculated, project-based parameters in mind. It’s a road trip on foot. It’s about pause, introspection, mindfulness, and maybe some visual mile-marking.

In today’s socially distant, quarantined world, walking (safely!) can be a form of personal liberation – one of the few things we can do outside.

For Humble’s next online exhibition, we’d like to see your images related to walking.
Interpret this however you like. This will be co-curated by Bryan Formhals and Humble’s co-founder Jon Feinstein.

See HAFNY for more info:-

I hope to put together an application soon.

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