It all started with my Grandmother’s Box Brownie, which I still have, then my father’s SLR when I was thirteen years old. I have always been a photographer, just like my predecessors, but did not take it seriously enough until the last few years.
My photographs start their lives as either colour or black and white digital images. I work with them to create monochromatic, or subdued colour invitations to dream and wonder. Printing is an important part of my image making process. As I also make some images into encaustic works or handmade books, the physical object becomes even more important.
My images rarely depend for understanding on location, rather they offer a space where the viewer can decide what they are seeing for themselves. To borrow a line from Eric Bogle, I like to ‘… leave blank spaces for people’s minds to fill in for themselves …’
Water seems to seep into many of my images. Other parts of the natural world also lurk here.
I want to engage imagination, memories, emotions, ask questions rather than provide answers.
All is not as it seems …
‘Do not show me what it is, show me what else it is.’ Attr. Minor White’
A familiar enigma
Sydney Harbour is an iconic destination on the tourist map. It's very beautiful, can be brash or serene depending on the activities of the humans around, in and on it, and often quietly hides away it’s industrial past.
A nearby small part of Sydney Harbour is quite different to the postcard-ready beauty of other parts of the harbour. But there is a hidden life here that is largely ignored by the people driving, running, walking, or cycling around it every day. Modest boats bob around, sometimes neglected and sinking, at other times just patiently awaiting owners. Dinghies and kayaks line the foreshore, seagulls squawk and the shallows gently rock. The two bridges cast deep shadows; one is a footbridge, the other carries a huge amount of traffic every day. Strangely, under the bridges is quiet and the hidden life goes on.
The movement of the water, tides swinging the boats around, the sun rising and setting. Light, wind, currents; there must be sea life down there somewhere.
These images are made from combinations of photographs near where the Hawthorn Canal enters Rozelle Bay in Sydney Harbour, to make its way to the wider harbour and then the sea. As the images develop they take on a life of their own. What are they now? What else are they? They are whatever we want to see, whatever we think about. Some almost become surreal. There’s life and impressions to be had here, if only we look.
This is my interpretation of this part of Sydney, my home. I have prepared a set of nine square black and white images presented as online slides, two photo encaustic works and a small hand made book of related high key images.
Encasutic images above, "Tumbling" and "Sliding"
WORDS FOR HAND MADE BOOK
Title of book: whispers of an enigma
These high key images form part of the project ‘Secrets of the Bay’ created for a workshop with UK photographers Doug Chinnery and Valda Bailey in 2020. The workshop was conducted totally online with nine participants from the UK and Australia.
The images are part of my interpretation of the area of Sydney Harbour near where Hawthorn Canal enters Rozelle Bay, on the theme ‘Do not show me what it is, show me what else it is.’ Attr. Minor White’
I hope these images reflect restless water, whispers of breeze and flickers of light. They tell me that all is not as it seems …