Painters, Printers, Sculptors, Photographers, Sound Engineers and Poets ... we can often become familiar with artists' work but not the indivuals themselves.

With Provenance I wanted to create portraits of artists behind the art. I chose to present them decontextualised from their art practice so as not to influence or distract you, the viewer, from the presence of the person in front of you.

The portraits were created through a combination of medium format film photography and modern digital techniques. My first major show for 2017 is on now at the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Arts Centre until the 10th of September. Thank you to everyone at PhotoAccess who has been fantastic in the preparation for this show.

The Portraits

The Artists (and the Backs of Their Heads)

The Invitation

Back & Forth

'In Sequence'| PhotoAccess members' exhibition - Back & Forth

I have a new piece in the first Member's Show of 2016. Entitled Back & Forth, the work comprises a sequence of 7 images looped and presented in a digital frame. It looks mesmerisingly cool. The opening is next Thursday (28 January) at 6pm at the Huw Davies Gallery.

Some gallery blurb about the show

The first PhotoAccess members’ exhibition for 2016, 'In Sequence' presents works creatively addressing the notion of sequence and narrative in photography. For many artists, photography is not only about single images, but relationships between multiple images. A sequence of images can tell a particular story or narrative, create a sense of visual poetry, or suggest movement and time passing. 'In Sequence' aims to showcase a variety of approaches to the notion of the photographic sequence, using traditional, experimental and digital photographic techniques.

• Opening: 6pm 28 January 2016

• Where: PhotoAccess - Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Arts Centre

• When: 28 January – 21 February 2016

Facebook Events page

New Show: Barriers - Break or Breakthrough


I'm very pleased to announce my next show Barriers: Break or Breakthrough opens next Wednesday at the Belconnen Community Center. A collaboration between myself and Marina T, the show explores our different reactions to change. Our working proposal:

Change is a fundamental part of the human experience. Often our difficulty in accepting change can stem from our inability to understand it. Barriers explores the the transitional processes involved in interpreting change.

The exhibition revolves around the centerpiece of a glass-encased clay sculpture of a human skull, which acts as both metaphor and motif of change. Meditations upon the centerpiece take the form of sculptures, and poetry.

The skull, which we have nicknamed Eno was made by Marina, features in each of the photographs. Each of the photos explores a different emotional response to change ... these comprise Anger, Fear, Denial, Delirium, Mourning and Acceptance.  Here is a selection of the photographs from our shortlist for the show.

The show also features several poems written especially for the show and a number of new clay sculptures from Marina.

We made a flyer advertising the show too ;-)


Along the way we have also established domain for our working collaborative artistic endeavours 2 Tens & A Tomato under which we exhibit and also produced a short film (shortlisted at the 2015 Lights! Canberra! Action! short film festival. The site is a little lean at the moment as we concentrate on getting things together for the show and really only shows a copy of the flyer for the show but please stay tuned on that front.

2 tens logo


If you're in Canberra next Wednesday evening (18th November) at 5:30pm ... please come along and say hello to us :-)

If Canberra is simply too far to come ... please wish us well :-)

#gdphoto #2tensandatomato

The One Project

Toward the beginning of the year I had lunch with my friend Hilary Wardaugh, an accomplished photographer around Canberra, and she described a project she was putting together. Hilary explained that she had a Nikon FM-2 manual film camera with a 50mm f/1.8 lens laying around and was planning to load a film into it, compile a list of photographers and pass the camera to each photographer and ask each one to take a picture. Once the picture has been taken, it became the photographer's responsibility to contact the next person on the list and arrange to get the camera to them. At the end of this process, about 3 months, Hilary will get the film developed and scanned. Each photographer will their digital negative and can process it as though preparing a print in the darkroom ... that is curves and levels and filter colours but no pixel based PhotoShop edits et al. The processed negative will be passed back to Hilary who will then arrange printing of the image for the purposes of exhibition. Two shows are currently lined up for the prints, one local (at the Huw Davies Gallery in Manuka) and one in Sydney (as part of the Head On Photo Festival).

The camera travels in a box containing the list of photographers, a cable release and a book in which the photographer is encouraged to write a short piece about their picture. The project is called The One Project.

So far so good... the only stipulation was that our picture had to be a portrait!

No pressure... it's only a single frame... I mean it's not like the other twenty-odd photographers are all accomplished photographers (they are!) and will be doing their very best as well... reading through the book I smiled when I saw that everyone else was obsessed with light, exposure and focus ;-)

I wanted my portrait to be of my artistic collaborator Marina. I have photographed Marina extensively over the past two years and together we came up with the idea that often you only have an impression of someone through the images you see of them. So I put together a grid of photos I have taken of Marina and projected them digitally across her face and arms and splashed across a dark background the pictures resemble stained glass. I set my digital camera to emulate the manual settings of the FM-2 and to act as a light meter for correct exposure. The effect is one of an essentially dark shadowy image with bright pictures shaping contours but ... visible upon closer inspection ... you see Marina illuminated and looking out from the shadows. It looks great.

Then it was swap the camera over on the tripod, recompose and recheck the settings (and recheck them again!) ... I re-posed Marina and got the composition right and while she was looking perfect I felt it was right pressed the shutter release ... pa-tchang! Done! In my excitement however I had failed to warn Marina I was about to take the picture and she thinks she may have blinked but can't recall where the blink may have been in relation to the exposure. I'm sure it'll be fine! I do feel like a goose though! My main concern is that given the dark nature of the photograph (light-wise not emotionally-wise!) and the different response of the film to shadow and highlight my contribution to the project may in fact just turn out to be a black frame! But then that's the risk you take in trying something less safe I guess :-)

The Box containing the camera and artists notebook
The Box containing the camera and artists notebook


The photos I took with the digital body look great and I would include them in this post but I don't want to publish anything until I see how the film version came out which won't be until November. I'll do a contrast and compare then as a separate post :-)

But I would like to thank both Hilary and Marina. Marina firstly for being my muse and sharing her art, ideas and vision so freely with me ... my world simply wouldn't be the same without her in it. And Hilary for coming up with the idea of The One Project and making it happen, for the necessary artistic angst and discipline (well OK maybe I didn't take home all of the discipline lesson) this project inspired in me.

Barriers: Skull with water drops - Series One

He's back on the drops again! This time in experimentation for a show coming up in November with my artistic collaborator Marina Talevksi. The show is to be called Barriers: break or break through and features a skull or representations of a skull or many skulls or many representations of the same skull ... we haven't quite decided yet ;-)

Barriers will be our second formal exhibition together after 2 Tens & A Tomato in 2014. Suffice to say that the show features skulls and in preparation for this I experimented on the weekend with some waterdrop refraction images featuring a skull... trying to get an image of a skull to refract in a water drop. It was tricky but I'm rather pleased with these initial results. You can check out my other forays into drop refraction photography in my WaterPlay gallery :-)

Gretchen Chappelle: life in still motion | scenes from the pacific shore

While in Sydney two weeks ago I had the pleasure of viewing my friend Gretchen Chappelle's most recent exhibition 'life in still motion | scenes from the pacific shore' at the Art Est. Art School and Gallery in Leichhardt, Sydney. Gretchen has, over the years, developed and refined a post-processing technique involving layers and motion blur to effectively isolate subjects in a frame whilst taking advantage of the colour fields surrounding them. I remember thinking 'Wow, that's cool' when I first saw her post one. Apparently, many folks have asked about the technique with a view to emulating it and while a number have tried I don't think any of them have mastered it the way Gretchen has.

A work by Gretchen illustrating the processing technique © Gretchen Chappelle 2015

I liked the prints in the show (and of course catching up with Gretchen!) but the gallery was a long way out ... Marina and I caught the train to Summer Hill and then walked at least a kilometer (Google Maps claimed it was 600m!) into the burbs of Leichhardt before we came across the gallery ... Gretchen arrived on her bicycle more or less the same time we did. I thought that Gretchen's work deserved more of an audience than was going to stumble across this out of the way place ... it needed more of a walk-in viewing audience/customer base and this wasn't the space that was going to provide that. Then, I guess those galleries cost more to host shows and the commission they charge is generally higher too. Still these are the lessons we learn when showing :-)

Good on you Gretchen ... the show looked great :-)

Gretchen standing with one of her larger framed works

The show ran for the month of May so, due to my slackness in promoting the work of friends you can no longer trek into Leichhardt and see it for yourself ... it being quite suddenly June...


Lights, Canberra, Action!

Well, we didn't win any prizes at our inaugural LCA film festival ... but ... we did get our art piece This Too Shall Pass shown to a rather large crowd and people were coming up to us after the event and saying how much they enjoyed it and how good it was to see an Arthouse film make it into the finals ... so it went pretty well really. We're now planning our next film project and that's kinda exciting too :-)

Lights, Canberra, Action!

Thoughts on a show

I'm sitting in the café adjoining the Front Gallery, where my show is currently on. My opening was last night and I'm feeling a little bleary. My sunglasses hide the bags beneath my eyes that must surely be a giveaway to the seediness I'm currently experiencing.  I'm here ostensibly  to imbibe coffee and eggs and bacon to assuage my mind into a connection with the absolutely stunning spring day that is in full swing outside. I'm also here to spy ... to see who's looking at my photographs and which ones they linger over and discuss. From time to time I wander in to tweak the lighting or straighten a picture. I tend to do this when there are people in the gallery and I can have a talk about the images and how they were created ... people have been very nice and said many congratulatory things. I've even sold two of the pictures, one which has been hanging in my bedroom for the past year and a bit, I will miss when it goes to its new home. I will miss them all if they go. They're little pieces of me ... each one a photographic journey now rendered manifest and framed and hung upon a wall.

I imagine their new homes and spaces, there's a part of me that would like to visit them there ... to see how they inform and play in their new surroundings. Other folks will see them every day and I wonder about this ... quite inordinately.

I realise I've spent three hours here now ... becoming slightly more human with each coffee (maybe one more?) and finding myself gazing blankly at the other patrons in this Inner North Wi-Fi hangout, bent over laptops or skipping the world, reading their Kindles ... I notice very few are actually talking ... even the couples with mismatched devices are intently studying their own ... noone is reading a book ... not a paper one anyways. There's one couple; I'm not convinced they're an item though he wants to be I think and he's constantly trying to show her amusing things on his phone and she's looking awfully bored ... increasingly so the more insistently he appears to not read the body language and blind to the look of disdain each time he offers his screen ... but then he's not looking at her ... he's looking at his phone and therein lies the problem.

A bit rambling today but there you go...

Through a Glass Clearly

There’s a moment when you notice something. Something that catches and teases. It may be the curve of a tree or the lightness of a feather drifting on a warm spring breeze ... unseen but for its effect upon the small things. Mostly for me it’s about the light. The way light plays with the things around us and renders them beautiful or dramatic ... the darkness of shadows and that gradient between glow and gloom. Sometimes it’s about trying to capture and entire world inside something much smaller ... concentrating it ... refracting it back at myself through the transience of a water droplet or a glass sphere.

It is as much about the journey of a photograph. A sinuous chasing down of the beauty you saw that very first time, the tender play and rendering of a picture until a certain essence is revealed ... a little something of what was seen made manifest and shared.

That’s what these pictures are. They’re little fragments of time and space collected and coalesced and placed on walls ... distilled results of the myriad journeys undertaken to create them.

In these I hope to show you just a little something of the thing I saw.

The collection of images on show.

About the Title

Through a Glass, Clearly is a collection of four short stories written by Isaac Asimov and first published in 1967. One story in particular: It’s Such A Beautiful Day, is set in the year 2117 and presents District A-3, a newly built suburb of San Francisco, and the world's first community to be built entirely using Doors, a method of travel via teleportation.

When the Door that transfers him from home to school fails, Richard "Dickie" Hanshaw takes a dislike to the method and starts to wander outside in the unfamiliar open, exposed to the elements. When he catches a cold, Mrs. Hanshaw is horrified and takes him to see Dr. Sloane, a psychiatrist, afraid that her son's wanderings are signs of a mental abnormality...

Geoffrey Dunn is a multi-award winning and internationally published photographer. He is entirely self-taught. Through a Glass Clearly is his third and final solo exhibition for 2014. The title of the show is also a reference to the act of capturing light with a camera ... through a glass clearly...

The details...

  • What: Through a Glass Clearly - New photographic works by Geoffrey Dunn
  • Where: The Front Gallery - Wattle Street, Lyneham, Canberra
  • Duration: 17-29 September 2014
  • Opening: 6pm Friday 19th September 2014


Confidence and Value

I was reading a post on Nigel Featherstone's excellent blog Under The Counter Or A Flutter In The Dovecot earlier in the week. Titled The confidence of the threadbare, the post provided a short examination of how our society values the work of it's artists. In this particular story Nigel, a writer, was asked what he considered the dread question whilst perusing in a shop "What do you do for a living?" ... the question, perhaps innocuously asked by somebody wishing to make conversation stirred in our protagonist a dark reflection and mumbled reply. What it did set off was a train of thought upon how confidence and value affect not only our artistic or cultural contributions but about how we are perceived as artists.

Confidence and Value indeed. I struggle with these daily in the creation of my work. There's the dread moment when someone asks, generally well-meaningly or at least with some interest, 'what sort of pictures do you take?' ... I have answered 'bloody good ones' if I'm in a great mood and 'lots of mediocre ones with a few flukes that people seem to like...' if not so but that's demeaning to myself and my art. It's not a fluke that this creative passion nourishes me, gives me some measure of meaning and direction in this otherwise confusing world. It's not that I don't take a fair share of mediocre pictures either.
Putting on a show of your individual artistic works is another matter. Unlike a stage show with a duration of two hours, your work is on public display for weeks at a time. Will people like it? Will people like me as a result is perhaps a more self-accurate question. Do I care? If I'm asking the question then perhaps yes I do... if I were to stop to ask myself why I'm doing it I don't believe there'd be an answer - not one that would be intellectually coherent anyways. "I just have to." is the best I can come up with...

I have spent some 15 years as a semi-professional musician, dressing up on stage and taking people on musical and story-based journeys ... mostly for the love of it ... there's little in the way remuneration(!) and for that magical feeling of walking both on stage (that delicious tingly nervous buzz) and walking off stage feeling that you've been somewhere yourself ... that your exertions; physical, mental and spiritual have been nourished and refueled. I guess that takes confidence but funnily enough I've never considered myself overly so.

Having got back into exhibiting my work again this year (after a break of several years), running two concurrent and greatly different shows in July (all I can say in my defence was that it seemed a good idea at the time) and currently shortlisting images for my third and final 2014 show in September, I feel I'm almost too busy in prep to be concerned with confidence ... almost ;-)

As for value ... that's a tricky one ... well, I find it tricky anyways. I've not yet found the best quantitative measure to assess it. In an instagram world where everyone's a photographer, it's hard to see the artists sometimes. I find pricing the work on show particularly difficult. Too high and it becomes inaccessible, too low and and it loses value quickly ... the pricing I find most interesting is to ask a prospective purchaser what they think is a fair price for the work and then we negotiate from there.

What about you? Do you battle with these notions of confidence and value? Do you price your work? How do you do it?

In other news ... shortlisting and preparations for my solo show Through A Glass Clearly progress apace ... will post separately about this soonly :-)


I do love feathers. I do love water droplets. The way the drops form tiny spherical lenses when placed upon the hydrophobic barbs on the surface of feather quills. It does something for me, this feathertalk ... it really does. Here are a couple of examples shot on my bathroom window sill ... :-)

In other news I'm busy short-listing for my final show this year. Through a Glass Clearly is a solo show I'm putting on at the Front Gallery here in Canberra opening in mid-September. It will feature retrospective photographs covering just about all of the genres I shoot in ... which, looking through my shortlist ... covers quite a few! ;-)

More new and updates as it progresses.

In An Attic of Her Soul

In an attic of her soul
walls growing close with encroaching gloom
outside clouds blacken low with late twilight hue
shadowed eyes of a mother gaze outward
left behind
while life outside marched on
with passions external
cradling with a stiff arm
the child looking upon with hungry gaze
while she searches and searches and searches
forever waiting
with mannequin's gaze
for signs and signals
of where her love has gone

In An Attic of Her Soul ... a work intended for the 2 Tens & A Tomato show with Marina but didn't make the shortlist ... for this show anyways ... the next one definitely :-)

In Your Eyes


In your eyes
I see the world anew

feel an unconditional love
see the joy in life
and the small things that matter

the beauty
of mud between my toes
of creating something new

the tears
at the injustice of the world
of frustration when it just didn't work out

When you look at me I see myself in you
see the love returned
I feel you there
feel you working me out
you see the mixed emotions in my eyes
the love for you

In your eyes
I see your life stretch out to horizons I cannot imagine
things I will never see
... I see my own mortality then
as I felt when you were born
I knew then my days were numbered by you


My life is yours

(22 January 2014)

 A poem I wrote for my children and featured in Two Tens & A Tomato



Postcards from a Show

For someone who hasn't exhibited work publicly for a couple of years I'm really quite in the thick of it now. I find myself in the position of having not one but two shows running concurrently and they both represent different aspects of my artistic endeavours.

The first show, Zoologica, is running at the Kaori Gallery until 2nd August and the second show, 2 Tens & A Tomato, a collaborative joint exhibition with visual artist and poet Marina, is at the Front Gallery until 28th July.

When approached by the Front Gallery in June about a sudden vacancy in their gallery calendar I was at first hesitant ... I was in the thick of organising Zoologica and didn't want two photographic exhibitions running concurrently ... but when Marina and I spoke about the potential of a joint show combining our poetry, writings, imagery and imaginations we decided to pitch our ideas to The Front ... and they said 'yes'. That was about three weeks before the show was due to to open and at that stage we had no completed ideas not to mention any completed collaborative works to put on show.

The show contains 20 works including clay sulpture, images and words, installations, mirror-books and photography. One thing we both realised as we brought the work into being for this show is that we had far too much and indeed have enough material for another two thematic shows at least! We have been busy!

The installation Carousel, featuring suspended words bent into fencing wire so that their shadows play against the wall and surrounded by photos of those very wiry words draped around the necks of the City's antique (and still operating!) carousel and blue velvet with blue lighting forming a small stage ... it turned out beautifully ... the words, by Marina, run as follows;

A broken carousel
My life
A dead Burst
of sound and colour
Staring blankly
at one another
We ask
With rusting words
why the ride
never begun

We are deeply indebted to my good friend Alex (and his son Tristan) for assisting us with the installation of Carousel along with a number of the other works through his unique solutions to our hanging requirements (and above-all by remaining calm!). I'm including a number of pictures I snapped with my phone (when I remembered to) whilst setting up the show.

In addition, Marina and I are guests at this month's Canberra Poetry Slam where we will be reading works from the exhibition. This is happening on Friday night at The Front in the bar adjacent to the gallery space.

It's all go! I'll be in to document the show later this week and will post about that separately :-)

2 Tens & A Tomato


Hi, just a quick note to let you know about a new collaborative show of fresh art and words from myself and visual artist and poet Marina. We have mixed poetry, photography, sculpture and installation into works exploring the written word and visualisations of poetic elements. The show will opened by PS Cottier, renowned poet and local.

The show is titled '2 Tens & A Tomato' and opens this Thursday evening at 7pm at the Front Gallery in Wattle Street, Lyneham ... be great to see you there and show off the works personally ... plus the gallery's attached to a pub and there's a band on too ... art, alcohol, live music and interesting people ... sounds like fun.

In addition, Marina and I will be guests of the July Canberra Poetry Slam the following Friday 25th July where we'll be reading works featured in the show.

The details in point form...

  • What2 Tens & A Tomato - Fresh art and words from Geoffrey Dunn & Marina
  • WhereThe Front Gallery - Wattle Street, Lyneham - 17th-28th July 2014
  • Opening: 7pm Thursday 17th July by PS Cottier ... that's like this Thursday ... yeah we know :-)
  • Poetry Slam Readings: Friday 25th July - 8pm

ps ... my solo show Zoologica is still running at the Kaori Gallery until 2nd August ... it's all go at the moment! G :-)