The Middle of Somewhere debut in Australia
Post Office Gallery, Arts Academy, Federation University Australia
Firstly, let me say what a fantastic experience i had at the Guernsey Photography Festival. The GPF might be a relatively small photo fest but it’s certainly packs a punch. It’s always stimulating for me to meet other photographers, see their work and talk photography. In Guernsey there was no shortage of any of that and the caliber of the work selected was excellent. It was a real honour to be included, something for which i am most grateful.
There were about 15 photographers in attendance from across Europe. I was lucky to be able to join them all from Australia with thanks to a grant that i received from The Department of Culture and the Arts for Western Australia.
Most of the photographers in attendance were hosted in the homes of festival staff and volunteers. A nice touch that allowed us to better connect with the community and experience some wonderful Guernsey hospitality. Thank you again Joanne and family for hosting myself and Londoner Jason Wilde. We had a great time and truly appreciate you opening your home to us.
GPF is a themed festival and the 2014 edition was Faith, Family & Community. Festival director Jean-Christophe Godet opened the GPF at the splendid St James Concert Hall. Legendary Magnum photographer Abbas was the guest of honour and presented work spanning his career. Liz Hingley gave a fascinating presentation on her series ‘Under Gods’ and John Angerson was in conversation with J-C Godet. whilst showing his excellent body of work on the Jesus Army, ‘Love, Power, Sacrifice’. There were also screenings of four slideshows (including my series ‘The Middle of Somewhere’) all with live piano, especially composed and performed by Angus McRae, with thanks to a collaboration with Victor Hugo Music Festival. Having Angus interpret my work was a great bonus and hearing his piano score played live with my images up on the big screen was a wonderful. You can watch it below (shot on my iPhone:) and please turn up the volume!!
Please note, all copyright © belong with the respective photographer as credited. All names and titles are hyper-linked to take you to the photographer’s website.
David Moore’s ‘Pictures from the Real World‘ was the fore runner of much activity that followed in British photographic history. It’s first showing was in 1988 in a special edition of Creative Camera selected by Martin Parr. I really loved seeing this work, raw and yet sensitive… Recently published as a book of the same title by Dewi Lewis. It sold out quickly and prices are on the up, so if you find a copy, grab it fast!
New York based Israeli Elinor Carucci photographs her twin daughters for her series Mother. I found it fascinating to see the work of other photographers who also photograph their children.
Photographed over 20 years, English photographer John Angerson’s portrait of The Jesus Army (a religious sect founded in Northampton, UK in 1969) is a profoundly sympathetic authorial style which does not judge, or even simply chronicle, but seems to penetrate the very skin of the religious sect… You can but John’s book ‘Love, Power, Sacrifice, published by Dewi Lewis here.
UK photographer Liz Hingley presented her series Under Gods, an intimate look at the multifaceted colourful world of urban faith along the Soho Road in Birmingham, England. An area rich with cultural diversities and religious practices. Liz’s beautiful book ‘Under Gods’ is published by Dewi Lewis and well worth purchasing.
Legendary Magnum photographer Abbas exhibited work from his extensive archive in a series titled Faces of Christianity
Arno Brignon is a French photographer who has been photographing is daughter Josephine for several years now. I really enjoyed his work. Especially interesting for me as Arno is also a father photographing his daughter…
Jason Wilde is a London photographer with a great sense of humor and irony. His talk at the Performing Arts Center was one of the most entertaining, at times hilarious talks i’ve seen.Jason lives on the ‘Clarence Way Estate’ in Camden, London, where he has witnessed over the years the rapid diversification of the cultural mix of his community. In an attempt to record this transformation Jason started collecting hand written notes that he found discarded on the estate. Silly Arse Broke It is a collection of those found notes and messages placed against wallpaper backgrounds. So very revealing about much of the day-to-day life in his hood.
Spanish photographer Inaki Domingo had a very interesting exhibition Ser Sangre. A collaboration with his family whilst on holiday, over a period of weeks. He reexamined the concept of the family album. Inaki has a book Ser Sangre soon to be published. I was fortunate to see a preview of the final dummy. Defiantly one for the list!
Frenchwoman Scarlett Coten’s powerful yet sensitive and thought provoking Mectoub looks at Arab men, in a post Arab Spring environment and questions the notion of identity in societies in which the question of individual freedom, genre and sexuality are the origin of massive political, economic and social change.
I’m delighted to have had one of my Instagram images selected to be part of the Instagram exhibition “Here in the World: Voices of the Instagram Community” at Photoville in New York.
The show will open to the public on Thursday, September 18 and closes on Sunday, September 28. The location is Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn. So if you’re in the area why not check it out…
One of my images has been accepted for the BIFB COLLECTION 2014, an annual fundraiser for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. For now, I can’t tell you what my image is, as all works are hung anonymously, and that would be letting the cat out of the bag, but all images in the show are for sale at the one price $125.
You can purchase a red dot at http://www.trybooking.com/92603 which also includes entry into the event at Gallery Eleven40, 1140 Malvern Road, Malvern, Victoria, starting at noon on Sunday August 31st. The event runs until around 4.00pm. All the details are at the website
Los Angeles’ Duncan Miller Gallery has featured one of my images on their innovative Your Daily Photograph, print collection sale. ‘Uma, bubble gum’ was selected by curator and photography commentator Alison Sieven-Taylor. Alison’s weekly blog Photojournalism Now has a wide international readership and her writing appears in a variety of leading photography magazines.
I’m honoured to be representing Australia, exhibiting The Middle of Somewhere (including some images from Postcards from Home) at UK’s Guernsey Photography Festival 18th Sept – 18th Oct 2014. I’m humbled to be in the line-up alongside the great contemporary artists Broomberg & Chanarin as well as the legendary Magnum photographer Abbas. This year’s theme is Faith, Family & Community and will also host the excellent New York photographer Elinor Carucci as well as exciting UK photographers Liz Hingley and David Moore among others…
I’m really looking forward to attending the opening of the festival and checking out Guernsey as well as all the other photographers’ works… I’ll be giving a seminar talk and participating as a lecturer in the education program.
I’ll be exhibiting a couple of my earliest images at M Contemporary Gallery, Sydney next week. The Genesis Project (opens May 20th) is a group exhibition for Head On Photo Festival featuring an eclectic mix of prominent photographers (Australian and international) that have delved into their archives to find the image(s) that first made them think, “that’s it!”. Along side the images will be the story of the formative, creative moments that helped mold them into the photographers they have now become. The exhibition will feature work from photographers / artists such as Roger Ballen, Roger Ballen, Ben Lowy, Chris Rainer, Murray Fredericks, Peter Eastway, Katrin Koenning, Craig Golding…
I made this image in the very early days of being a photographer, at a time when my bedroom (with curtains gaffa taped to the walls) was also a makeshift darkroom. I practically lived in that room 24/7 and would obsessively experiment through the day and night. I had a large format 5×4 monorail camera and had discovered the wonders of Polaroid Type 55 film. You’d get a black & white positive print and also a negative, which required soaking in a clearing solution. I decided as an experiment i’d leave the neg in the solution for a few days, to see what would happen… When i came to remove the neg from the solution, to my surprise, the photographic emulsion (containing the image) started to slide off the celluloid. I remember it reminded me of the skin on hot milk…
Carefully i placed the negative on a towel to dry. Inspecting it later it seemed ruined. A lot of the emulsion (and the image) had gone or been scratched. However when i carefully placed the neg in my enlarger and made a print i got a wonderful surprise. It looked great, i loved it, it inspired me! This process taught me a valuable lesson that i still stand by today. To embrace experiments and be open to “The Happy Accident“. If we do, we can allow for some magic to happen and our creativity will grow.
My second image represents the photographers first milestone. For me that was this record sleeve for Tremolo EP by My Bloody Valentine. Created at the end of 1990 and released 1991. A band i’m very proud to have work with.
This record sleeve was one of my first and a favourite. I took my experimentation out of the darkroom and into the studio, trying to achieve similar effects in-camera. My Bloody Valentine were a pioneering Indie band and very hip. After several meetings to discuss the concept we all met in the Curtain Road Studio for the shoot. I had created a wall of cling wrap stretched tightly around two poles, with coloured lights shinning along the surface. The idea was that the model would stand behind this cloud like wall of red & blue light. I’d photograph her, then cross process and over expose the film so i could then sandwich my favorite slides together to create the final image.
The funny thing is that we did this shoot a couple of days before Christmas. The model i’d booked didn’t show up, phoning in and saying she was sick… so with the band sitting on the studio couch in a cloud of smoke, i asked the make-up artist if she’d ever wanted to be on a record cover and help me out in the process. Looking back now, i can’t image it any other way…
The image above is a finalist at this year’s Mobile Prize for Head On Photo Festival, Sydney. It’s a great looking show of which I’m proud to be a part. If you’re in Sydney you can check out the exhibition at The Depot Gallery, Dank st, Waterloo.
I took this image in Sydney last year whilst visiting the festival with my iPhone 4s. You can view more of my Instagrams here
50% of print sales go to SNAPSHOP, Lucie Foundation’s photography workshop program for kids in under served areas of Los Angeles.
The exhibition kicks off at 7pm Wednesday 16th April at Contact Photo Lab’s gallery. LA 90031
Below: one of my Instagram images from the exhibition
I’m honoured and most grateful to have been invited to exhibit a handmade prototype of my new book ‘The Middle of Somewhere’ at the 2013 Delhi Photo Festival. Curated by Sohrab Hura the collection of self-published & dummy books will be exhibited at the Open Palm Court Gallery, India Habitat Centre from September 27th.
The process of creating a photobook is usually long and arduous; for me, the first step is to create a basic dummy to aid in the refining of concept as well as technical analysis. My book dummy is still very much a work-in-progress, a sketch of a book all the way. The prints are ‘roughs’ and will need to be calibrated. Changes will be made to the edit, sequence and design. It’s only once the book dummy has been made and can be held and flipped through that the process moves from mind to matter and becomes a tactile experience as well as a visual one.
This is the first time i’ve ever exhibited something unfinished. i hope its slight roughness helps bring the viewer inside the book making process, questioning and thinking about all the elements involved, but ultimately going on a journey with me through the images…
I’m honoured to have been selected as a finalist in the 2013 Olive Cotton Award. My image of Uma (from my new series The Middle of Somewhere) is currently being exhibited along side the other finalists at the Tweed River Art Gallery. Other finalists include Trent Parke, Narelle Autio, Ingvar Keene, Tamara Dean and Lee Grant.
Update: Magnum photographer Trent Parke won this years award and took home a cool $20,000. Congratulations Trent!