I’ve just returned from Korea where I spent a month travelling all over the country researching and photographing my current long-term project called “The Korea/Goryo Project”. Into my second year of a 4 year project, am feeling good about where it’s heading. Lots of stills, audio and video to sort through but looking forward to some quiet time over Summer to do this. Here is an image taken in Sunchang, Jeolla-do province:
So after the drama of printing my book, I will actually have 45 books available for sale during the exhibition! The rest is coming but won’t be available until late November. Of course pre-orders can be taken by emailing me. I’m just so pleased to have some books available at the opening. Excited now!
So, not much time for posting news – but all for good reason. I recently finished updating the new Oculi website which really did need an overhaul and we have also just taken on 2 new members, Raphaela Rosella and David Maurice Smith, both fantastic photographers and definitely wonderful additions to the collective. Exciting times ahead for sure.
I’ve also been busy with my new job, getting to photographically respond to various environments which has been really fun – working full-time as a photographer has taken some adjustment. Shooting everyday is not something I have ever really done and whilst I don’t do this as a rule in this job, I have certainly increased this exponentially. I think it’s actually good for me as it really makes me think hard about what I’m looking at. Interestingly, the area I’ve struggled with is the portraits, which is normally my strength…. I have however been on a role with ‘architectural’ work (for want of a better explanation). I’ve also set up a blog to track my work-in-progress called The New Actonian. Mostly rough sketches really – but quite fun.
Lastly, it’s been a rather stressful time working towards getting Belco Pride published. Book publishing is frankly quite a traumatic process, especially when printing abroad. And unfortunately I won’t be launching it at the upcoming exhibition late next week which is deeply disappointing but due to some manufacturing defects, I just have to wait until it’s reprinted. So hopefully early next year… The trials and tribulations of photo-book publishing I suppose…. at least next time I’ll have a better understanding of how it all works (and what doesn’t!)….
But, if you are around Canberra – more precisely Belconnen – please do swing by Belconnen Arts Centre for the exhibition on Friday 28th September at 6pm. I’m really excited about showing this work in the very place it was made…. Hope to see you there!
Well it’s only taken me too long but I’ve finally decided to take a leap of faith and go full-time with my photography. I’m totally excited and also freaking out but am reminding myself that’s it’s all going to be good. I’ve been very fortunate that the stars have aligned just right and seemingly just for me – well it feels like it anyway. Joining Oculi along with some great opportunities in the pipeline (stay tuned) and some very fun editorial gigs plus more time to keep my own projects moving, is definitely giving me a new lease on life.
I’m pretty chuffed too that I have my own page now on the Agence Vu website. Who would have thought that a suburban pleb could get so far.
I LOVE photography!
And to celebrate, I just had to buy me a few photo-books:
And the last one Ohio by Alec Soth and Brad Zellar, I just got this morning. Alec Soth, I think you rock. How is it you just get better and better?
I’m really pleased to say that my book dummy of Belco Pride has won the Portfolio category of the Momento Book Awards 2012. And in very fine company as well. The overall winner was Stephen Dupont for his book Stoned in Kabul.
It’s been a good few years that I’ve worked on this series and it’s been shown in various exhibitions and publications. I’m really proud of this series – it’s my first major body of work and though it took a long time, I like to think that it provided me the platform to not only find my voice as a photographer but also many fantastic opportunities, both professionally and personally. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final book which I will be publishing this year with Authentic Press. It’s due for release in late September and will be launched at the Belconnen Arts Centre, where I will finally get to show the work back to the community.
Well it’s been a whirlwind of a year already – almost halfway there and boy have there been some big things happening! The biggest of which is that I’ve just joined the Australian photo-collective, Oculi!!! I’m terrifically excited and looking forward to working with some lovely and fantastic photographers… I’m definitely looking forward to being part of a community of fellow photographers – it goes without saying that being a photographer can be an isolating experience – not so much in terms of meeting people, which is definitely one of the pluses of making work, but more in terms of processing and evolving your development as an artist and photographer.
I recently read an interesting piece by Pete Brook (of Prison Photography fame and a regular blogger for Wired Magazine) about the formation of 7 photo-collectives in the US. You can read it here. What I agree with and am looking forward to as the 12th member of Oculi is expressed in this sentiment by the Razon Collective:
“As photojournalists we work within a business model that is struggling through an extreme re-birthing…. Unfortunately, media outlets have been historically exploitative not only in their coverage, but also to their employees. The corporations who own these media outlets are exploitative by design, preying on the members of a society that we often choose to cover with our projects. The contradiction that exists in this equation creates a working environment ripe with difficulties. We’re caught between a rock and a hard place. The [photojournalist] path alone can be lonesome and fraught with countless obstacles to the longevity of ones career. A collective is a makeshift safety net, a support system and a group of friends we can always turn to in this hostile industry.“
And Aevum’s Elyse Butler goes one further saying: “We inspire one another to be better photographers and better human beings.” What more can you ask for?
In any case, the long hard haul of working away these last few years is, I feel, starting to pay off. Stay tuned folks!
It’s well and truly into the New Year and what a busy (and exciting) year it’s going to be!
Already I’ve travelled to New Zealand to attend a workshop organised by Harvey Benge that hosted one of my favourite photographers, Pieter Hugo as well as the Senior Curator for Photography from the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Quentin Bajac. It’s an intensive but excellent 3-day workshop and I was also fortunate to meet some wonderful NZ photographers – some of whom I hope to collaborate with in the future. Good on you Harvey for doing these!
I will be publishing my Belco book later this year and I’m really looking forward to working with Christey and Marcus from one8one7…. we are totally on the same aesthetic page which is a massive relief!
Some other projects on the boil but will post about these in due course……… oh, and back off to Korea again in October……… awesome year this one’s going to be!
Bring it on!
Canberra’s northern ‘burbs are going to Sydney! Please come and join me at the opening of Belco Pride at the ACP in Sydney on Friday 2nd December. I’ll be sharing the gallery with Conor O’Brien and my friend Rebecca Dagnall.
There will also be a floortalk on Saturday 3rd at 11am. Hope you can join us!
Global Backyard: 40th Anniversary Celebration
22 October – 11 December
Curated by Fiona West, Global Backyard is an exhibition that coincides with the celebration of Latrobe Regional Gallery’s 40th Anniversary. It taps into the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland and Australia as a place of exchange, movement, migration and sustainability; a place where we re-look at history, where people grow-up, settle and call home; a place where we make connections in the backyard, enjoy time with friends, take part in a changing environment and establish a sense of place.
Artists include: Stephen Bush, Jon Campbell, Daniel Dorall, Lee Grant, Rod McRae, Danie Mellor, Paula do Prados, Noël Skrzypczak, Arlene TextaQueen and Paul Yore.