Provenance

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


Shoot: Lisa Richards Live

On a ridiculously hot evening in January I had the pleasure of photographing Lisa Richards at Smith's Alternative in Canberra City. Lisa was promoting her new album A light from the other side and playing songs from her multitude of other, excellent releases. Astute readers will know that I contributed artwork to this album along with a number of other professional media photos.

Lisa was joined on stage by Matt Nightingale on double and electric bass and Jeannette Bradley on banjo and fiddle. It was a lovely intimate performance and well suited to the Smith's Alternative venue.

Lisa's album (and her other releases) are available from her website.


Shoot: Cell Block 69

Cell Block 69 ... 80's synth-pop masters and mainstays of the Canberra and Sydney music scene are once again gearing up for their annual 'Final Show Ever!' series of 2016 gigs. I had the great privilege of photographing their promo shots for this year. Featuring a Delorean (complete with a functioning Flux Capacitor) and the use of my new studio space. There were two basic outfit changes for this shoot... the first was a future-tech white series.

The second, denim, denim and still more denim ... double denim too. There were the studio shots in a Calvin Klein inspired wall shoot.

And the series featuring the Delorean. That car was hot! Literally hot as the polished stainless steel threatened to peel any bare skin laid upon it. Thank you to Callum for loaning his car for the shoot!

I also did a series of individual portraits of the band members.

 

Some blurb from Moshtix where you can purchase tickets for their end of year shows.

69 is number 1! Let the nine Corey’s of Rock (and to a lesser but not to be undermined extent, synth pop) take you to the year Two Thousand and Nineteen Eighty Sixteen for a performance of hit songs of unfathomable proportion.

Always surfing on the curtails of their latest dazzling Rock (and to a smaller but not to be undermined extent, synth pop) stadium performance extraordinaire, CELL BLOCK 69 return to the recently voted most playable city in the world, Canberry.

Duanne Le Corey-Michaels and his 8 Coreys of Eighties Awesomeness, return direct from generic Europe for their annual "Final Show Ever ". CELL BLOCK 69 are number one and they will show you why.

Read more at http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/cell-block-69/89523#z8B2Mk0ExKBD1Zke.99

 


Tango!

Tango!
I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to photograph the bi-annual Tango in the Spring event held over last weekend at the Albert Hall. The event, which runs over four days, attracts some of the top Tango dancers from around the country. There are workshops and Practica each day and a Milonga each night. I photographed the main dance (or Milonga) on the Saturday night.

The lighting was very dim and I was shooting at the far end of practical for my camera. This was great for the atmosphere of the dance but it was tricky to photograph in. To give you an idea I was frequently shooting at ISO 10k+ at f/1.6 and f/2.8 and just managing 1/60th of a second exposure. I had to learn how the dancers moved to be able to anticipate where they would be and when. Also, the colour of the lighting (apart from being dim!) was orange and I had some tricky manoeuvring to do in post to pull out something that resembles a white-balanced image ;-)

 

It was a great night and the dancing was superb!

Links


afterDARK at the Botanic Gardens

afterDARK at the Botanic Gardens (the Australian National Botanic Gardens) is a series of night time walks through the gardens. Participants get to make their own tea-light lanterns and go on educational, guided walks with the rangers. I was commissioned to take some photographs this year of the evening walkers.

Future walks in the afterDARK series are being held on;

Special National Science Week events

Saturday 13 August - Book Now
Saturday 20 August - Book Now

Spring Scavenger Hunt Dates:
Saturday 3 September - Book Now
Saturday 24 September (School Holidays) - Book Now
Saturday 1 October (School Holidays) - Book Now
Saturday 8 October (School Holidays) - Book Now
Saturday 5 November - Book Now

Time: 7.00 pm

Cost: $30 adult | $25 concession

- See more at: http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/botanic-gardens/do/whats-on.html#sthash.xriLxB4H.dpuf


Rapturous and RAW Artists

Recently did a shoot for Liza Alwast of Rapturous who is putting together a show for RAW Artists here in Canberra. Liza collects and works with fine textiles to create stunning dresses and couture. The show is one component of the TREND show presented at the Belconnen Arts Centre from 6:30pm on Friday 17th June 2016.

The shoot was conducted in a studio setting with Marina modelling. I have created a number composite images (substituting background images et al) to create a more interesting setting. These one's aren't particularly hard to pick ;-)

Thankfully, Liza has provided me with a ticket to the event and of course I'll be taking my camera so stay tuned for more from Rapturous ad Raw Artists :-)

Links


Pigman's Lament

Yesterday morning I shot a series of promotional photographs to support an upcoming production at The Street Theatre. The production is called Pigman's Lament and stars Raoul Craemer in a taxing solo performance. The story revolves around a man who is physically haunted by the memory of his dead grandfather. Raoul, who you may remember from the Beard/No Beard headshot series from earlier in the year, plays both roles.

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The brief for the promotional image called for the expression of the duality extant in the central character ... to somehow combine the rational present character with that of the man beyond the grave. I chose to take two shots and merge them together to form this dualistic one ... Raoul's hand reaching from behind his head and contorting his face emphasises the extension of this nasty force from the past. The picture will appear on all promotional materials for the production and I'll post a picture of the poster when it gets printed.

There were, predictably some outtakes too ;-)

 

The production details

Pigman's Lament - The Street Theatre - Early 2016

  • Starring: Raoul Craemer
  • Director: Paulo Castro (Stone/Castro - Portuguese National Theatre, Schaubuehne Berlin, Chunky Move)
  • Playwright: Raoul Craemer

 


New Show: Barriers - Break or Breakthrough

barriers_logo

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 ;-)

BarriersFlyer3_grab

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

Links

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


Time-Motion Study: Dance

On Saturday night I had the opportunity to photograph some of the show events at the 2015 Canberra Latin Dance Festival. The festival organisers had engaged a photographic team from Sydney to do formal coverage of the events and dance exhibitions and I volunteered on the day to offer to take some creative arty pictures. The event started at 8pm and was very well attended. There was a stage and seating and a large(ish) (too large I think) area in front of the stage where no-one was permitted ... not even the formal photographers!

I had imagined that I would be able to get quite close to the action and to this end I had packed my Lensbaby and wider primes to get as you say creative. Seeing as I couldn't get close my wider selection was almost no us ... I mean I was simply to far away from the action. I did have my 70-200 with me and I ended up using this for most of the night. As I was taking pictures of the performers I began extending the exposure time to deliberately blur their movements and flow. I had my tripod with me and so I zoomed to an area of the stage with black background and set about tweaking until I got nicely lit 10 second exposures. I got a lot of duds ... but we won't talk about those today ;-)

I was impressed with the way they came out. The ones above show flow and transition and a closer examination reveals faces and hands and the ever-present specular highlights of sequin and spangle. It's almost as though you're capturing the essence or the spirit of the dancers with these ghostly images. I think I am going to have to do some of these ... perhaps under more controlled conditions.

Here are some featuring spins and twirls...

The conversion of some of these into monochrome lends an ethereal feel too I think.


On the Inside Looking Out

I've written before about those special moments when a picture reveals itself right before your eyes. Some days when you're ready to take a photograph ... to capture something special a scene can prove elusive ... there are, I believe, times when it's almost as though you have to be 'open' to a photograph's materialisation. By that I refer to perhaps a process or state of mind whereby you as the photographer are open to the image that present itself to you. It's like realising there is an image waiting in front of you or even anticipating an image's appearance ... this one represents one of those moments

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A young touches her finger to the water wall at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne

Back story: A recent trip to Melbourne, Marina and I had just been to visit the Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Marina had wandered outside and I went to retrieve my camera bag from the cloakroom. As I walked across the foyer of the gallery toward the exit I noticed this young girl outside touching the glass of the water wall with her finger. I quickly reached into my camera bag, grabbed the camera and took a few pictures (before her father came and dragged her away from an anticipated episode of soaking). This one was my favourite... on the inside looking out.

The exhibition at the NGV is spectacular btw ... should you find yourself in Melbourne ;-)


Oh Japan 3 - Tokyo

Today I'm presenting some of my favourite images of Tokyo from a trip made in early July. This post is the third in my Oh Japan mini-series. First up some 'archi-stracty' and city based pictures. I loved walking around with a camera at night. It rained the first few nights were there and this made the streets nice and shiny and reflective ... perfect for neon colour goodness!

 

In terms of people pictures ... well my goodness there were an awful lot of people! In the picture below of the business man walking through an alley in Shinjuku, he may look like the only person around but, directly behind me was one of the busiest intersections in Shinjuku and there were literally three or four thousand people crossing and or going about their business!

Coffee started out being an issue upon arrival in Japan ... there was always Starbucks if things got desperate ... but then we discovered BOSS Coffee! Sold in supermarkets and as shown here in refrigerated vending machines everywhere, BOSS Coffee changed our Japanese experience utterly. Comprising one or two shot of espresso (with or without milk or sugar) in a little can ... these were fantastic! Can't find out how to buy them in Australia ... there'd be a massive market for them here.

BOSS Coffee!
BOSS Coffee!

 

And then there was the escalator wonderland underneath the Tokyo SkyTree! What an awesome space this was... like a drawing from MC Escher!

 


Oh Japan 2 - Kyoto

Kyoto ... a two hour journey from Tokyo on the Shinkansen (bullet train) was beautiful. Less hectic than Tokyo and steeped in history, The original Imperial capital. However, I'm presenting today one of my favourite pictures from the trip.

We arrived in Kyoto early in the evening and after settling into our hotel and taking advantage of the traditional Japanese hot bathing facilities at the hotel we ventured out for some dinner in the old town. Walking back toward our hotel after unsuccessfully trying to find some nightlife ... the place we were recommended was closed(!) ... we came across these cavernous markets the Nishiki Market (錦市場, Nishiki Ichiba). They stretch across five blocks and at midnight when we came across them they were largely deserted. We could then only imagine what they must look like during daylight trading hours ... which we did upon visiting them the very next day :-)

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Midnight in the Teramachi Street market

This place was huge and we walked the length of this particular covered street.

During the day we sampled local foods in the Nishiki food market ... like the picture above but packed with food shops. I sampled this delicious grilled octopus on a stick ... the head had been stuffed with a quail egg and it was utterly delicious ... would you try one?

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Marinated grilled octopus stuffed with quail egg on stick anyone?

 


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 :-)

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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...

Links