May 09, 2014

Friday Round Up - 9 May, 2014

For the next two weeks Friday Round Up will focus on Australia's largest photographic festival, Head On Photo Festival which officially opens in Sydney on 16th May and runs through until 8th June. In its fifth outing Head On will feature more than 900 photographers across 140 galleries in a celebration of photography in all its forms.

This week Friday Round Up showcases some of the Australian talent, but the programme is incredibly diverse and this selection should be taken as a teaser only for what's in store. Next Friday we will be blogging directly from the Festival's opening weekend. Check out the Festival website here. 

Featured this week are Australians Nicola Dracoulis, Jarrad Seng, James Horan, Leon Gregory, Kerry Pryor, Ludlites Love Light and Olive Cotton and Sally McInerney. Plus there are photo galleries from Alec Dawson and Lisa Garland. Enjoy the feast of photography that lies ahead.

Nicola Dracoulis 
Viver no Meio do Barulho 
(Living in the Middle of the Noise)
Melbourne photographer Nicola Dracoulis’ exploration of nine young people living in Rio’s favelas is gripping. Shot in 2006 and 2013 in this series of portraits Dracoulis revisits the same people seven years apart capturing both the changes in individuals and their habitats. 

Above images (C) Nicola Dracoulis

29 May to 9 June
Gaffa Creative Precinct
281 Clarence Street
Jarrad Seng
A holiday to Iceland in 2013 provided an unexpected opportunity for 26-year-old Perth photographer Jarrad Seng to experiment with aerial landscape photography the outcome of which is a stunning collection of aerial photographs of Icelandic water flows that are reminiscent of abstract paintings.

Above images (C) Jarrad Seng

5-31 May
The Arthouse
275 Pitt Street

James Horan
Irish Horse
When Irish-born photographer James Horan was growing up in a housing commission estate in Limerick he was warned to keep away from the ‘Travellers’ as the Irish gypsies are known. “Crazy, dangerous people, that you didn’t want to associate with,” he says. But after spending five years documenting the lives of the Travellers Horan has come away not only with a unique view, but also a deep appreciation and concern for these misunderstood and often maligned people.


Above images (C) James Horan

21 May to 14 June, 2014
Brenda May Gallery
2 Danks Street

Leon Gregory
At Last - The Seventies
In the early 1970s Sydney photographer Leon Gregory was an aspiring actor who made ends meet by shooting portfolios for his fellow thespians. In his spare time he used his camera in classic street photography style taking photographs of random people that crossed his path. Little did he know that forty years later his eclectic collection of shots of Sydney’s inner city enclaves - Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo, The Domain, the City, Glebe and Balmain – taken between 1970-1973 would prove somewhat of a time capsule. 

Above images (C) Leon Gregory

24 May to 13 June
Ginkgo Gallery
166 St Johns Road 

Kerry Pryor
Who Lives Here
In Ethiopia almost five million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, famine, war or disease. The children, known as the “Lost Generation” are mostly left to fend for themselves and often end up living on the street. Since 2011 Australian photographer Kerry Pryor has been documenting the lives of children under the care of 'Beyond the Orphanage' and in her exhibition “Who Lives Here” she shares her experiences.

Above images (C) Kerry Pryor

12 May-29 June 
Leichardt Library 
23 Norton Street 

Ludlites Love Light 
Group Show
This exhibition features images taken on “plastic cameras” by various members of the Ludlites photographic collective, an ever-expanding group of enthusiasts who are taken by the unpredictability of images made on plastic cameras.

(C) Anika Luzemann

(C) Patrick Boland

Curated by Australian photojournalist and art photographer Steven Siewart, Ludlites Love Light showcases an exciting collection of what can be achieved in lo-fi photography when one combines imagination, a pinch of technical know-how and loads enthusiasm and patience.

The Ludlites’ spokesperson on this occasion is long-time plastic camera enthusiast and photographer Tim Hixson who first came across the plastic model in the 1970s when he was studying photography in the US.

He tells that in those days plastic cameras were “about a dollar each” and that photographing with them was somewhat of a respite from the heavily technical practice that was professional photography in pre-digital days. 

(C) Terry Hixson

Shooting with the plastic cameras was more of an intuitive activity rather than being reliant on the technical aspects of photography. That’s not to say there isn’t any technique involved in shooting with these cameras. Quite the contrary says Hixson.

“There is a lot of technique to using these cameras, but you have to let go of the technical and follow your instinct more. With these cameras you are never guaranteed of the shot you think you’ve got and you never feel like you are in control, but that is part of the whole experience. They have one shutter speed and one fixed F-stop so you have to work around these issues and that makes you more patient. Shooting with these cameras you tend to go into it with an idea rather than creating it later in the computer.”

Hixson says because of the lack of control and the freedom of experimentation that comes with the randomness of the experience, ego falls away and “you realise the humility of it all”.

He explains that with these plastic cameras it’s all about the light and “seeing it and getting it is more difficult on a plastic camera”. But that’s all part of the fun, he insists, and making mistakes, and often discovering something wonderful in those errors, is fundamental to the experience. 

 (C) Craig Proudford

 (C) Heleana Genaus

“For me there is a truthfulness with film, you start from a true perspective and the film binds you to traditional photo values that you then set out to break with the plastic camera which is so simple it’s intriguing,” states Hixson who runs workshops on the topic. “I love seeing people have fun with it. You can’t control it so you have to accept what you get, but you can go back and try again and in that way you are training your mind”.

13-24 May
Workshop: 12noon-4pm Saturday 17 May - open
The Depot Gallery
Danks Street

Mother & Daughter: A Conversation
Sally McInerney and Olive Cotton 

 (C) Olive Cotton

(C) Sally McInerney

At this year’s Head On Photo Festival photographer Sally McInerney will exhibit for the first time alongside her mother Olive Cotton who is regarded as a pioneer of modernist photography in this country.

Cotton’s story is well known in photography circles. Married to renowned photographer Max Dupain in the late 1930s Cotton ran Dupain’s studio while he was at war and in the process honed her skills as a master printer. Their marriage was short-lived and later Cotton married farmer Ross McInerney moving to the country and shelving her darkroom skills for nearly 20 years.

But Cotton never stopped taking photographs with her Rolleiflex camera even if she was unable to make prints. “She wasn’t expected to leave behind her photography when she got married,” says daughter Sally McInerney. “The camera was a feature of our domestic life. Sometimes someone would see something remarkable and mention it to Olive and off she’d go”. 

 (C) Olive Cotton

 (C) Olive Cotton

(C) Sally McInerney

(C) Sally McInerney

Sally caught the photography bug early after being given her first camera at the age of eight. There ensued her lifelong passion, which she says really grew organically and was encouraged by the natural curiosity of her family in the world about them.

“Living in the country certain things were generally always remarked on like cloud formations or the rain or the shapes of trees, especially dead trees,” she says. “In our family it was very normal for someone to say look at this great skeleton leaf or that flocks of birds. Anyone of us - my brother, father, mother or I - would comment on something and the rest of us would be interested. There was such a lot around our little old house, such a lot to look at outside, and that was interesting to us all.”

The McInerney’s worked a subsistence farm about 25 kilometers from Cowra in rural New South Wales. Sally recalls growing up without electricity or running water in an old house that was “falling down”. It wasn’t until 1964 that Cotton went back into the darkroom opening a small studio in Cowra.

“My mother and I both had a long consistent practice of taking photos although there were breaks for technological reasons,” explains Sally. “We got the films processed elsewhere, but always looked after the negatives and printed when we could.”

‘A Conversation’ is an exhibition that features the black and white work of Cotton and Sally’s colour photographs. She tells me that the idea to do a combined exhibition was first mooted by curator Sandy Edwards.

“As I began to think more about it I realised there were a lot of echoes and associations common to both of us, but in particular to some of my images. My mother never took very dark or scary looking or candid photos and I do those, but in this show the selection shows those echoes and references between both sets of photos.”

I imagine that she and Cotton had long discussions about photography, but Sally refutes that notion. “My mother and I never had a serious photographic critiquing session”.

And the pair never shot together. “We didn’t call it shooting it was just taking photographs,” she states. “My mother was quite shy and unobtrusive in her photographing manner. I like to wander around old back streets of funny looking towns and talk to strangers and take their photos. She didn’t do that, but then generally women didn’t at that time. But we both had a similar appreciation of certain things, mostly nature and solitude, aspects of solitude and we did sometimes talk about the beauty of the occasional. In this show the mood is fairly sympathetic between this selection of my images and hers,” Sally ends.

Mother & Daughter: A Conversation
Sally McInerney and Olive Cotton
13-24 May
Damien Minton Gallery
583 Elizabeth Street

Alec Dawson
Nobody Claps Anymore

Nobody Claps Anymore
6 May – 24 May
He Made She Made
70 Oxford St

Lisa Garland

7 May - 7 June
Stills Gallery 
36 Gosbell Street

No comments:

Post a Comment