August 01, 2014

Friday Round Up - 1 August, 2014

This week on Friday Round Up new exhibitions for Melbourne and Sydney, a new book on photographer John Deakin in review, a photo essay on women mine workers in Poland and Photojournalism Now's Alison Stieven-Taylor invited to curate a month of photography for Your Daily Photograph.

Picture of the Week:

China: These bars are designed to keep the children at a distance to their books to help prevent nearsightedness. Lucky they don't have mobile phones and tablets. Photo: Reuters

Your Daily Photograph - Los Angeles
Australian Guest Curator for August
For the month of August Alison Stieven-Taylor is the guest curator for, an initiative of the Duncan Miller Gallery in Los Angeles. Each day subscribers receive an email – YourDailyPhotograph – that features curated photographs that are available for sale. This daily email is sent to the Gallery's subscriber-base of around 3800 dedicated photographic art collectors. Registration is free. Sign up today to see Alison's selection that features 30 photographers. Click here.

Book Review:
Under the Influence
John Deakin, Photography and the Lure of Soho

“Being fatally drawn to the human race, what I want to do when I photograph is to make a revelation about it, so my sitters become my victims.” John Deakin
English photographer John Deakin’s reputation as a boorish drunk largely eclipsed his talent during his lifetime and at the time of his death in 1972 at the age of 60 he was virtually destitute and his photographs forgotten.

Yet Deakin was an enigma. An artist whose considerable potential was squandered by drink and self-indulgence, Deakin was reportedly “loved and loathed in equal measure”. At one turn he was described as a “nasty little man” and at another, deeply insightful, with his compassion for his fellow man (sic) evident in his startling portraiture. Deakin’s images still stand today as a marker to what truly great portraiture is all about, but it is not due to his care and diligence that his archive remains. When Deakin died friends found piles of prints and scratched negatives under his bed...(to read the full review and see more images please click on the Book Reviews tab at the top of this blog).
Portrait of Francis Bacon by John Deakin 1952

Photo Essay:
Arek Gola - Kobiety Kopalnia
(Women in Mines)
This photo essay by Polish photographer Arek Gola turns the camera on the women who work in the mines in Poland. Here Gola has created a series of portraits that give a view to a world that few see.

All images (C) Arek Gola 2012

Exhibitions: Sydney
Paul Blackmore – One

Photographer Paul Blackmore is one of the most insightful documentary photographers working today, yet while much of his imagery falls into the reportage category, Blackmore's work translates across both photojournalism and fine art genres as is evidenced in his most recent book At Water’s Edge and now in this new collection, ONE.

In ONE, Blackmore's treatment of the human body evokes abstraction in distinct forms. Shot in studio in black and white Blackmore's nudes are reminiscent of the minimalist nudes of the likes of Erwin Blumenfeld, where the eye is drawn by the simplicity, the fall of the light and the interplay of shadows. Where Blumenfeld often used props such as venetian blinds and fabric and shot through diffused panels of glass, Blackmore has stripped back to the basics – one light source, one subject, one background – freeing the images of clutter and allowing the eye to roam.

All images (C) Paul Blackmore

5-17 August
Blackeye Gallery
3/138 Darlinghurst Road

Exhibition: Melbourne
Ruth Maddison

Australian photographer Ruth Maddison's series of work "In Residence" features photographs that were created during a three-month residency at Artspace in Sydney in 2013.

Maddison came to photography in 1976 in Melbourne at a time when women in particular were pushing artistic boundaries in the medium and using photography to explore the personal in a way their male counterparts largely had not. Of her artistic practice Maddison says, “I’m documenting the passage of my life via my image making. I’m recording what it is that makes me want to go on and on with the camera. Anything can interest me and it may not relate to anything I’ve done before or anything I’m working on. Everything I do and see and know somehow becomes included in what I want to translate into images”.


All images (C) Ruth Maddison

Until 23 August
Edmund Pearce
Lvl 2 Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street

Exhibition: Melbourne
Kelvin Skewes - Nauru: What was Taken and What was Given

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.

Melbourne photographer Kelvin Skewes says the work in his exhibition - Nauru: What was Taken and What was Given – “examines questions about extraction industries, the viability of the nation state, 20th century colonialism, 21st century paternalism, as well as our translational and intergenerational responsibilities".

All images (C) Kelvin Skewes

Until 24 August
Counihan Gallery
233 Sydney Road
(inside Brunswick Town Hall)

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