One of the biggest events in a photojournalists life is....? You can fill in your own blanks here but for me its the preparation and opening night of a solo exhibition.
I haven't written much on the blog lately as time has not allowed me the luxury of meditating on the usual random stuff I find interesting. Instead as I sift through all of the detritus of my life over the last five years and work to extracting those little photographic gems that I can put up on a wall and say with pride "I made that" I have found the process again completely overwhelming.
My last solo exhibition was in May 2007 and by all accounts it was a bit of a blockbuster. The sort Edmund Capon (the retiring Director of The Art Gallery of NSW) famous for his "bums on seats" approach to exhibitions, would have been proud of. Lots and lots of people came to see it as it was all about the topic de jour...The life of the Aboriginal community at the "Block" in Redfern.
Predating "The Apology" by the Australian government to the "Stolen Generations" of Aboriginal people by ten months, the show simply shone a spotlight on a once vilified and ghettoised community and showed it in all its love, laughter, tragedy, turmoil and honesty. Sadly for that community and since the passing of Uncle Nynganna in May last year the heart of the suburb has been removed and the forced gentrification of the once notorious "Block" has stripped the original inhabitants of a place to call home.
Time moves forward and places and relationships change so perhaps with the remodelling of Redfern something more positive will eventuate for the Aboriginal community that once dwelled there.
So too with my work... while the exhibition "Ten Years From The Heart-Photographs of Redfern Waterloo" was strictly traditional photojournalism, my newest show "At The End Of The Day" is inspired more by artistic intention.
In this newest body of work, I explore the relationships between people and their environment at twilight. In unrelated incidences it seems that there is a universal tension and a burgeoning feeling of fear and uncertainty, a worrying thought of who we might be or become in the darkness of the night.
Still drawn from my experience as a photojournalist, the photographic tableaux have been shot in random moments and locations across Australia and represent a questioning of the realities that are presented to us everyday by the very medium of photojournalism.
And while shooting twenty five images that communicate this exact assertion might seem like child's play to some, it has been a long hard road and one that started as a result of a workshop I attended in Bangkok with David Alan Harvey and James Nachtwey in November 2007.
Life has a funny way of coming full circle and strangely I accepted the show at INDEX at St Peters in Sydney under the aegis of the Headon Photo Festival well before I knew David Alan Harvey was coming out to open the Festival with the launch of his new book. I am really looking forward to catching up with him and explaining the distance that I have travelled creatively between the last time we met and now...
But as with all things in the field of the visual arts...and in life...its a constant evolution and over the next few weeks leading to the exhibition opening itself I will blog on a regular basis about how this exhibition is taking form in a new technological landscape...