Walking East - Gino Zardo
HUW DAVIES GALLERY 5 –22 November
Gino Zardo’s career trajectory is unusual in a number of respects. Taking an all or nothing approach the 22 year old Zardo, not content with steadily carving out a career in Australia, chose New York as his starting point. After more than a decade in the commercial world of fashion and celebrity photography he took time out for personal work on a long journey through India, Nepal and Papua New Guinea on the cusp of the new millennium. A further decade later, after his return to Australia and a new base in Canberra, Zardo is embarking on his first solo exhibition in the Huw Davies Gallery at PhotoAccess.
'Walking East' has had a number of iterations, first as the title of a successful CD and picture booklet released on the US Alluvial Recordings label in 2005. The CD and booklet were based on sound recordings and images made on Zardo’s 1999 journey. 'Walking East' now becomes the title of an exhibition of images and, further, a photographic sound portrait on DVD shown here for the first time. Zardo’s considerable personal investment in that long trek has given him plenty of scope for invention and reinvention.
Writing for The New York Times in its 8 October 2009 issue, Andy Grundberg said in his obituary for the legendary Irving Penn, who died the previous day aged 92: ‘Probably most famous for photographing fashion models and cultural figures, he seemed equally at home photographing Peruvian peasants or bunion pads’. Perhaps Penn’s creative dexterity, his moves into and out of the commercial world, and his wide ranging photographic interests will provide a template for Gino Zardo’s further career.
As Grundberg further writes, Penn’s ‘… models and portrait subjects were never seen leaping or running or turning themselves into blurs. Even the rough-and-ready members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, photographed in San Francisco in 1967, were transformed into the graphic equivalent of a Greek frieze.’ Conversely, Gino Zardo’s images have the wonderful spontaneity of the streets, roads and landscapes in which they were made. There is plenty of movement and blurring, an authentic evocation of the lives, the dust, the sweat and tears of the people and events he represents in these images. But there is also beautiful quietude and self assurance in his subjects, presented for their humanity rather than for any ethnographic intention.
We are delighted to give Gino Zardo this opportunity for his first solo exhibition. Visitors to the Huw Davies Gallery will enjoy his beautiful wall images and the colours and sounds of the 'Walking East' DVD showing in the Multimedia Room.