February 28, 2014

Friday Round Up - 28 February, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up Melbourne Now’s Photobook Day, a new group show opens in Fitzroy, refugee advocate Julian Burnside launches new publication on Nauru, plus Bill Henson’s artist talk at MGA. In Sydney Patricia Casey’s Little Secrets exhibition to open next week, and in The Netherlands Noorderlicht Photofestival calls for submissions for its 2014 theme.

Exhibition: Melbourne
From Above – Group Show

Papua New Guinea (C) John Gollings 1973-1974

Papua New Guinea (C) John Gollings 1973-1974

Kicking off its 2014 calendar of exhibitions is a group show at Fitzroy’s Colour Factory opening next week. “From Above” features a diverse range of works from an equally diverse group of photographers including John Gollings. Renowned as one of the world’s leading architecture photographers, in this exhibition Gollings has chosen to showcase photographs taken in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s, further demonstrating the breadth of his oeuvre.

Also participating in the show are Marzena Wasikowska, Sean Fennessy, Chris Budgeon, John Laurie, Sarah Pannell and Eriver Hijano. 

(C) Sean Fennessy Intersection of Yeongdong-daero & Tehran-ro, Seoul, 2009  

(C) Sarah Pannell, Year of the Snake, 2013
(C) John Laurie, Tavern Beach, St Mawkes (UK), 2013
(C) Chris Budgeon, Untitled 1, 2012

(C) Eriver Hijano, Grand Canyon, 2013

(C) Marzena Wasikowska, Journey reluctantly taken, part 2, image 1

From Above
6-29 March
Colour Factory
409-429 Gore Street
Fitzroy (Melbourne)

John Gollings website 
Colour Factory website 

Exhibition: Sydney
Patricia Casey – Little Secrets

In “Little Secrets” Sydney-based photographic artist Patricia Casey has intricately woven landscape and portrait photography with detailed embroidery to create images that are not only physically multi-layered, but also allegorically.

Within each frame Casey invokes a world where memory, nature and fantasy reside inviting the viewer to ponder their own secrets, and to drift into the realm of imagination.

“Everyone has their little secrets,” says Casey. “Sometimes these little secrets are pleasurable, sometimes not, and this series of works is a meditation on that theme.” 

All images (C) Patricia Casey

Little Secrets
4-22 March
NG Art Gallery
3 Little Queen Street
Chippendale (Sydney)

Patricia Casey website

Book Launch: Melbourne
Kelvin Skewes – Nauru: What was Taken and What was Given

Leading refugee advocate Julian Burnside AO QC will officially launch a new publication by Melbourne photographer Kelvin Skewes – Nauru: What was Taken and What was Given – at the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive on Saturday 1st March.

The island nation of Nauru, in Micronesia, is the world’s smallest republic. Many Australians know Nauru as an offshore processing centre for asylum seekers under Australia’s Pacific Solution policy; a continual source of contention and debate within Australia.

With its very survival reliant on financial aid from other nations Skews says, "Nauru is a microcosm that allows us to examine questions about extraction industries, the viability of the nation state, 20th century colonialism, 21st century paternalism, as well as our translational and intergenerational responsibilities". 

His publication, which is in newspaper format, will be available for sale on the day.

(C) All images Kelvin Skewes

Saturday 1st March
Asia Pacific Photobook Archive
395-397 Gore Street
Fitzroy (Melbourne)

Asia Pacific Photobook Archive

Photobook Day: Melbourne
Melbourne Now – NGV International

As part of the exhibition Melbourne Now a “photobook day” will be held on 7 March featuring a selection of books from the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet more than 30 local photographers who will be on hand to talk about their work along with publishers, printers and editors. There will also be photobook-making workshops that are free to attend. Photographers are also invited to donate a copy of their photobooks to the Archive.

Friday 7th March
NGV International – Community Hall
180 St. Kilda Road

Melbourne Now at NGV

Curator Talk:
Bill Henson – Monash Gallery of Art

(C) Norman Lindsay Archive

This Saturday Bill Henson will take visitors through the exhibition “Wildcards: Bill Henson Shuffles the Deck” the first Australian exhibition Henson has curated. This is a fantastic opportunity to hear from one of Australia’s greatest photographers and one of the most erudite people I’ve ever had the pleasure to interview. This is a truly fantastic exhibition. If you can’t make the talk, you have until March 30 to see this show.

Places are limited and bookings essential.
Monash Gallery of Art – 03 8544 0500
2pm Saturday 1st March

Festival: Call for Submissions
Noorderlicht Photo Festival

Noorderlicht 2013 (C) Alison Stieven-Taylor

The theme for this year's main exhibition at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival is "An Ocean of Possibilities". The intention of this theme is to "turn the spotlight on people who plot their own course. They may be individuals, small communities, businesses that think in terms of sustainability, or social enterprises. Whatever their form, they set out to realise a better future, not only for themselves, but also for others, even if that means an uncertain outlook".

This exhibition will be on show simultaneously during the Noorderlicht 2014 International Photofestival and also at the Singapore International Photofestival 2014. It's a great opportunity to gain international exposure so get your submission in before 30 March.

For more information visit the Noorderlicht Photofestival website

February 21, 2014

Friday Round Up - 21 February, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up photojournalist Megan Lewis shares her latest story - a Photojournalism Now Exclusive. Plus the winner of the 2014 FotoEvidence Book Award, a feature interview with Sam Harris and two events for those in Melbourne - tonight the opening of the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive Reading Room and the first show of the year for Strange Neighbour Gallery.

Megan Lewis - Conversations with the Mob

“It is possible to be a documentary photographer and in the same breath be a compassionate human being. I believe it is knowing when to act and when not to. I trust my gut, my intuition - life is about being present.” Megan Lewis 2014 

Twelve years ago photojournalist Megan Lewis threw in her full-time job on a daily newspaper, packed her car and camera gear and headed into the Australian desert to live with the Martu people, one of the last Indigenous groups in Australia’s Great Sandy Desert to come into contact with white people.

“When you shoot for a media organisation there is no room for going inside,” says Lewis. “We have this checklist – drama, action, violence or controversy. I wanted to tell a deeper story, and to look beyond the Aboriginal stereotypes created in the media where the focus is predominantly negative and centred on violence, poverty and substance abuse.”

The Australian desert is harsh. Temperatures regularly soar past 50°C in summer, and this dry, hot and sparse land is alien to the majority of Australians who cling to the seaboard. The Martu, or the Mob as they call themselves, number around 850 and inhabit a territory in Central Australia that is approximately the size of the United Kingdom. 

Lewis lived with this Indigenous community for nearly three years creating a body of work that became the book “Conversations with the Mob” which was published in 2008 to great acclaim. But her work with the Martu continued long after she put her camera down and today she remains connected to the Mob. In the past 18 months she’s worked with community leaders to institute healthy eating programs for the children and to build self-esteem through creative pursuits including photography and filmmaking.

In January 2014 Lewis returned to Central Australia. Unlike Conversations with the Mob which was self-funded, this time Lewis had sponsorship to aid in the cost of heading bush where it is easy to clock up thousands of kilometres travelling from one settlement to another. With the support of Fujifilm Lewis continues this remarkable story and you can watch her video here.

All images (C) Megan Lewis shot on the new Fujifilm X-T1

To buy the book visit UWA Publishing
To find out more about Megan Lewis visit her website.

Winner: 2014 FotoEvidence Book Award
Majid Saeedi - Afghanistan: Life in War

(C) Majid Saeedi

This week Svetlana Bachevanova, publisher of FotoEvidence, announced that Iranian photographer Majid Saeedi was the winner of this year's FotoEvidence Book Award.

Saeedi's submission was chosen from a pool of more than 50 entries documenting a wide range of subjects from photographers working in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“Majid’s work contrasts with a lot of what we usually see from Afghanistan because he didn’t photograph war. He lived with the people he photographed as one of them," says Bachevanova. "All the work selected shows dedicated documentary photographers working with imagination and courage to shine a light on suffering and injustice…We look forward to exhibiting the work in New York this fall when we release the book.”

I interviewed Saeedi in September last year at Visa pour l'Image about this body of work. You can read the story and see more photographs by clicking on Feature Articles at the top of this blog.

Click here to find out more about FotoEvidence and to view the shortlist.

Sam Harris 

"British-born photographer Sam Harris is best known for his body of work “Postcards from Home”, through which he has demonstrated a unique approach to turning family photographs into a visual narrative that appeals to those outside the family circle. But his journey to this point has been one of hard truths, dogged determination and ultimately personal discovery, as he tells Alison Stieven-Taylor.

Postcards from Home (2008-2011), the first of a series, has been published online and is also an award-winning book, which has found wide appeal across cultures. “I think it is a common truth that if something is intimate then it is pretty universal really. I am sure Fellini said something along those lines,” he laughs. “Beyond that I guess the passion and the love that comes across in the photos is maybe refreshing when there’s so much sex, drugs and war photography out there”.

(C) Sam Harris

Harris, who now lives with his wife and two daughters south of Perth in Western Australia, began his career in London shooting bands for record covers. He says he came to photography through his interest in painting; he is another who originally wanted to be a painter, like renowned UK photographer Lewis Morley. “But I fell in love with the darkroom and the ability to play around with negatives and create images from my imagination. From the darkroom I took that into the studio and in-camera,” he says..."to continue to read this story and see more photographs please click on the Feature Articles tab at the top of this blog.

Exhibition: Melbourne
Todd Anderson-Kunert - Strange Neighbour 

(C) Todd Anderson-Kunert

Melbourne gallery Strange Neighbour kicks off its 2014 exhibition program with a solo exhibition by Todd Anderson-Kunert - “The situation we’re in”. Anderson-Kunert has created an installation that incorporates sound, image and 7” vinyl to create an immersive experience that is “centered around an abstracted ballroom”. Within this space “these components rhythmically keep time, moving towards each other and coming apart. Each component is like an event and a beat; some are everyday, others dramatic. They reflect and refract each other, creating a composite of tangent emotions.”

Strange Neighbour
395-397 Gore Street
Until March 22
Opens tonight at 6pm - 9pm 
Visit the Strange Neighbour Website here.

Opening: Melbourne Tonight
Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive 

(C) Li Kejun  

Tonight the new home for the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive Reading Room will officially open. Located next door to Strange Neighbour Gallery in Fitzroy, the Photobook Archive now has around 300 books with the collection growing daily.

Award-winning street photographer Jesse Marlow will officially open the Photobook Archive. On show will be a selection of books curated from the Archive by Heidi Romano of the online magazine “Unless You Will”.

The brainchild of Daniel Boetker-Smith, the Photobook Archive was created to provide a showcase of work from the Asia Pacific region, which Boetker-Smith says is largely under-represented in the world of photobooks. It is an open-access archive and accepts “photographic books and publications of all types”. The Photobook Archive also showcases books at various photographic festivals providing invaluable exposure for the individual artist and the medium itself.

Tonight 6pm-8pm
395-397 Gore Street

For more information about the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive click here.

February 14, 2014

Friday Round Up - 14 February, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up new exhibitions for Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, international festivals call for entries and an uplifting story from First Light Institute.

Exhibition: Perth
Graham Miller – All That is Solid Melts into Air

Acclaimed Australian photographer Graham Miller’s new exhibition – “All That is Solid Melts into Air” – opens at the Turner Galleries in Perth tonight.

In this collection of images that was created around Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Miller explores the relationship of people with the landscape. Drawing inspiration from painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Eugene von Guérard, Miller says his images are intended as “an ambiguous blending of impression and fact and an attempt to provide delicate evocations of human presence and hope”.

(C) All Images Graham Miller

All That is Solid Melts into Air
14 February to 15 March, 2014
Turner Galleries
470 William Street
Northbridge (Perth)
For more information visit the website here

Exhibition: Sydney
Kevin Cooper – Boxio Habana

Photographer Kevin Cooper’s photo essay on young Cuban boxers, Boxio Habana, opens at 10x8 Gallery in Sydney tonight. As well as an exhibition, there is also a book of the same name excerpts of which appear below.

Cooper, who has been shooting for over 30 years and labels himself a “visual documentarian,” says he is more comfortable communicating through pictures than words, a trait he identified early in life. “Someone wise once said that every man is entitled to his favourite brand of insanity. Mine is photography. I’m not a words man, I never have been. I read images, and have done since I was a pre-pubescent boy. Photography is my language, and luckily for me it is like music, understood by all”.

In Boxio Habana Cooper explores ‘La Lucha’ – The Struggle – of Cuban society at a “micro-level focusing on a small derelict boxing gym in Havana,” where young boys work out their frustrations and issues in the boxing ring. 

“Each culture I document mirrors my struggles with the world I live in, but don’t really conform to. Boxio Habana is no different and I can see correlations between the young boxers and my own struggles as an adolescent. I guess by documenting the struggles of others, I am more equipped to understand my own – and accept them.”

Boxio Habana
14 - 23 February
10x8 Gallery
L3 Central
Central Park 28

Exhibition: Victoria
Tim Page – Diggers in the Nam

Opening this weekend at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum (Victoria) ‘Diggers in the Nam’ features iconic images from the Vietnam War taken by photojournalist Tim Page between 1965-1969.

(C) All images Tim Page

Vietnam was a training ground for Page who as a young photographer worked alongside the likes of Eddie Adams. Since that time Page’s pictures have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the globe over a career that has spanned five decades. Page has had a lauded, and at times, immensely dangerous journey that has left him at death’s door on more than one occasion. Page, who is now in his sixties, will be at the launch to talk about the images and no doubt regale visitors with one or more colourful tales!

Through his lens Page has shown the world images that define generations and his photographs can be seen in museums and galleries around the world, and within the pages of books. And also on this blog with the Tim Page Unseen series featuring never before published photographs.

Diggers in the Nam
15 February - 30 April
National Vietnam Veterans Museum
25 Veterans Drive
Newhaven, Phillip Island
(approximately 2 hours drive from Melbourne)

Call for International Entries

Head On Photo Festival – Sydney 

This year’s marks the 10th Anniversary of the Head On Photo Festival’s Portrait Prize. While the Portrait category is open to Australian residents only, Head On is extending its reach inviting international photographers to enter three other prize categories – Landscape, Mobile and the latest addition, Multimedia. Total prize pool is valued at $50,000.

Winners for each category will be announced on Friday 16 May 2014 in Sydney. “All work is judged anonymously and selection is based on the power of the work alone rather than the celebrity of the subject or its creator.”

Entries close 9th March, 2014. Visit the website for more details

Call for International Proposals
Kaunas Festival – Lithuania

Now in its 11th year, Kaunas Photo Festival is calling for proposals on the theme of MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, EXHIBITIONS. This international call is open to photographers and photo-media artists of all ages and to all creative methods from reportage to conceptual works. This Festival launches in May with major exhibitions held over September and October.

Entries close 21 March, 2014
Visit the website for more details

GMB Akash – First Light Institute of Photography

According to First Light Institute of Photography “there are 7.8 million working children in Bangladesh who have no childhood and no toys. First light Institute of Photography gifted more than 500 new toys to more than 500 deprived children to inspire and to motivate them as well as to encourage them towards happiness.” 

The look of joy of these young faces is just reward for the kindness shown and reinforces that social documentary photography also has a role to play in celebrating the human spirit. Images (C) GMB Akash.

To find out more about First Light Institute of Photography click here.