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

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr ☚

Some West Suburban Bungalows

In 1966, Ed Ruscha photographed ‘Every building on the Sunset Strip‘ in Los Angeles. It became a book and the original is highly sought after. I have seen the copy the NGV has in its collection. Such a simple and elegant idea. The book is one long accordion type book. It is small but intriguing. I have attempted my own version of the idea twice now. Once in Yarraville with a small stretch of houses that have since been demolished, for the Regional Rail Link. The ‘album’ is on flickr it is entitled Buckley Street Seddon. It took  approximately 40 minutes to make those pictures.

I did the same recently, only this time I walked along Wright Street, Sunshine, from Stanford Street to Hampshire Road.

64 Wright Street, Sunshine
64 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine

I started at the Stanford street and walked West, the numbers on that side of the street are even numbers. I excluded the corner houses. The photography component took all of 20 minutes.

There was one empty block primed and ready for redevelopment. And two other blocks with for sale signs on them. Big changes are indeed afoot. What form shape or size they will take remains to be seen I guess?

Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | Twitter | Tumblr | altfotonet