2018 Reconciliation Week was launched this evening at the Canberra Theatre. 'Don't Keep History A Mystery' is this year's theme for Reconciliation Day, and white Australians are encouraged to engage on a personal level with Aboriginal Australians. After the offical proceedings Archie Roach performed to a packed house, with thunderous applause echoing throughout the theatre as he entered stage.
A small preview of my exhibition Next Generation: Solomon Islands After RAMSI has been installed in the main exhibition space at NSW Parliament House in Sydney. The preview will stay in place for the next month or so and then it will be expanded into a full exhibition in July in the same location. The exhibition will be launched at the start of July, dates TBA.
In 2009/10 I was working at a newspaper in Cairns in Far North Queensland. It was a great two years, as I spent most of it on the road, exploring places such as the Atherton Tablelands. I was always excited to do a job up on the Tablelands, because it offered incredible landscapes, interesting small towns and wonderful people to photograph. While I shot with digital cameras for work, I was aware that I was visiting places that I may indeed never visit again, and so I also shot for myself with colour film at the same time using a Mamiya 7ii medium format camera.Read More
Senator Pat Dodson speaks to the media after attending The Close the Gap Parliamentary Breakfast and the launch of the Close the Gap 2018 Report at Parliament House in Canberra.
The Close the Gap Campaign for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality is a coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous health and human rights organisations. The Campaign's goal is to raise the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to that of the non-Indigenous population within a generation: to close the gap by 2030.
'The Day of Mourning was a protest held by Aboriginal Australians on 26 January 1938, the sesquicentenary of British colonisation of Australia. It was declared to be a protest of 150 years of callous treatment and the seizure of land, and purposefully coincides with the Australia Day celebrations held by the European population on the same day. The protest became a tradition, and annual Days of Mourning have been held to this day.'
For the last week and a half, Judy Bamberger has been staging a one-person protest at the front of Parliament House in Canberra, sitting under a makeshift awning in the constant rain. Judy is protesting the treatment of refugees who are currently being detained on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
After driving by a few times, I finally decided to go and meet Judy in person and tell her that her solitary action of protest had become quite important and inspirational to me. To see someone exercising their right to protest, not in the usual organised group, but rather a one-person, peaceful sit-in, inherently encompassed a sense of power that had me thinking about the importance of one person's actions.
Judy is joined every evening at 5pm by a small group of people who protest with her for an hour. As this is the last sitting week at Parliament, I thought it was important to photograph Judy and make a record of her solitary protest.
Portrait of Aishah (2017).
This is my first portrait with a large format camera. I can see why everyone loves the large format, and this is the baby of them, the 4"x5".
With a 3200dpi scan you get a crazy file, about 16000px x 13000px. Considering this was shot yesterday, developed and scanned today, it's no wonder analogue photography is becoming popular again.
I recently read this article and it stirred in me an enthusiasm to think about organising a year-long photography workshop that looks at photography beyond technical aspects, focusing on a more personal approach.
I have taught a few of these year-long workshops at PhotoAccess, but after a few consecutive years felt that I needed a break from teaching. Well, this article certainly has come at a great time and now I'm ready to see if there is interest from a few photographers to undertake this workshop in 2018.
I made a facebook post about this last night, which I have pasted below. If this is something that you may be interested in, please drop me a line. More information will be available in coming weeks about the proposed workshop plan.
I'm contemplating running a year-long personal photography workshop here in Canberra in 2018. I'd like to keep the group small, say 5-6 people, and am interested in working with photographers who want to explore their lives, their environment and most importantly themselves through photography (by this I mean finding out what really interests you with the medium and how to make your pictures your own).
Ideally, we'd meet about 10 times over the course of the year, and each participant would be working on a long term project, as well as having to complete 'mini assignments' between meetings that would introduce important elements of photography such as portraiture, working to a brief, lighting and so forth.... We'd also look at presentation, including printing, curating a show, books, websites, etc etc. Only ideas at the moment but I'm feeling good vibes about this. And at the end we'd put on a great exhibition of all the work.
Participation would be based on a portfolio of 12 themed images and an artist statement. This would be a workshop that pushes you, challenges you and perhaps pushes you into uncomfortable places. But the idea would be for you to really see what you are capable of.
My extensive library of photography books would be an open resource for all participants to borrow during the course.
I'd like to keep the course under $2k per participant, or around $200 per day-long workshop.
Please comment if this is something you would be interested in.
This is a link to my recent exhibition 'Next Generation: Solomon Islands after RAMSI' which was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade this year.
Whenever I see people playing musical instruments, I am always drawn to photograph them. This is certainly nothing new, but it came to the forefront of my mind after photographing Richard Tognetti at Parliament House a few nights ago, and then the next night seeing a quartet also playing at Parliament House at the National Rural Women's Awards.
Two of my favourite photographers, André Kertész and Josef Koudelka both photographed musicians rather extensively and I always think of a few of their images when I am making my own photographs of performers, especially the violin. Their poeticism of imagery will always inspire me greatly.
Last night I covered a special screening of 'Mountain' for Screen Australia, directed by Jennifer Peedom in collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. World renowned violinist and current Artistic Director and Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra Richard Tognetti performed before the screening, playing on an C18th violin that has been given to him on permanent loan by an anonymous benefactor.
I was honoured to have Shaune Lakin, Senior Curator of Photography from the National Gallery of Australia, open my current exhibition 'Next Generation: Solomon Islands after RAMSI' at Huw Davies Gallery, PhotoAccess, in Canberra on Thursday 17 August. It's not every day that a senior curator talks about your work to a public audience, so it was a very special occasion for me both professionally and personally.
With his permission, Shaune's opening speech was recorded and transcribed. I intended to publish it here to archive and also to make his speech accessible for those who could not make the opening reception, but would like to read what was said.
I had the great pleasure of opening Steve Hartup's current exhibition 'Tolwong Road - a story of a fire' at X Gallery in Bungendore, NSW on Saturday 19 August.
I only met Steve about six months ago, and in that short time we have become good friends, often talking at length about the photographic practice. Steve is a true craftsman, and it shows not only in his photography but in his amazing house which he built entirely by himself in a small village in regional NSW.
I first met Steve back in February when he visited my Solomon Islands exhibition at The Photography Room. He went from print to print on the wall and then through the entire selection of matted works on the print table. After about 30 minutes he selected one and purchased the photograph. This is my first memory of Steve and it is one that says a lot about the man. Steve is calm, methodical, has an incredible eye for detail and is extremely considerate in his actions. These characteristics are are evident in his immaculately hand-printed, 5"x4" exhibition of photographs at X Gallery, which is on display until 9 October.
This series of images was made over 4 years in the mid 2000's after a severe fire near Sassafras (between Nerriga and Nowra) in southern NSW. Making over 20 trips to affected areas of Morton National Park, Steve produced a set of over 400 5"x4" black and white negatives, which he has edited into an exhibition of 40 (38 x 11"x14" and 2 x 16"x20") prints.
The exhibition is up for a month and a half, and the gallery also stocks incredible jewellry made by Xanthe, the gallery owner. If you are in Canberra, or even Sydney for that matter, make the trip to Bungendore to see some of the most luscious fibre based, gelatin silver photographs you will see for a while. The images are stunning and without wanting to talk money, they are ridiculously affordable, with a good few sales on the opening afternoon.
Today was the official launch of NEXT GENERATION: Solomon Islands after RAMSI, an exhibition of photographs made on commission for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in June/July 2017. The exhibition was officially launched at Parliament House in Canberra by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, with special guest The Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, on his State Visit to Australia.
I had the pleasure to walk Prime Minister Sogavare through the temporary exhibition at Parliament House and have a chat to him about the making of the work. The exhibition will now be moved to PhotoAccess, which opens on Thursday 17th August at 6pm. The exhibition will be opened on Thursday by Shaune Lakin, Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia.
Every ANZAC Day I try to visit a regional town to photograph the ANZAC Day March and commemorative service. This year I went to Yass, which is a little under and hour from Canberra. What I especially love about ANZAC Day is the gathering of people; the crowds who come together to pause and reflect on the sacrifice given by many thousands of soldiers who have served under the Australian flag in conflicts all over the world.
ANZAC Day is really the only day in this country's calendar when the streets of small towns like Yass become full, with people lining the footpaths to honour those marching who have served, as well as the memory of those whose medals are worn by younger generations marching in their absence.