I closed my eyes and saw this - Dan O'Day
Wedding photography seemed an odd career choice for Dan O’Day following his very successful 2006 exhibition 'Still' in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY. Variously a painter, singer in a rock band, occasional bureaucrat and emerging photo artist at that time, 'Still' looked set to put him on course to a different career.
We can be grateful O’Day’s runaway success as a wedding photographer over the past six years hasn’t distracted him from the importance of creating and showing evocative new work. 'I closed my eyes and saw this' is the result of his latest imagining, an imagination he applies to and which is, I am certain, the reason for his success as a commercial photographer.
In a conversation with him some years ago O’Day said he approached all of his weddings as if he was shooting for an exhibition. This approach has resulted in a large body of outstanding wedding images that could themselves make for an inspiring exhibition.
Canberra continues to provide a base for O’Day when he is not travelling in Australia and overseas for wedding assignments or to pick up awards. He has maintained contact with PhotoAccess and contributes to our work generally and to group exhibitions from time to time. His solo exhibitions have kept him in touch with the gallery world, particularly in Melbourne through the CATHERINE ASQUITH GALLERY, and his work is represented in private and corporate collections in Australia and overseas.
Writing about his 'Still' exhibition in 2006 I said that:
'While the tradition of storytelling in photography is a time honoured one, going back almost to its beginnings, Dan O’Day’s approach to pictorial narrative is unmistakeably of his time … While there is beauty on the surface of these evocative, occasionally menacing and at times whimsical images, they are richly suggestive of the vast dimensions of stillness and being alone— and of the occasionally dark implications of both. … Questions of meaning and intention can’t be avoided in the face of Dan O’Day’s images'.
Those comments apply equally to the work in 'I closed my eyes and saw this', where O’Day continues to reflect on life and his experience of it. Perhaps things are improving: as he says in his brief Artist Statement ‘To be here in this moment is easier than it used to be, and that ‘stillness’ I used to run from, I now find myself running toward’. We are pleased Dan O’Day continues to embrace life in all its light and darker dimensions and delighted to welcome him back to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY at the Manuka Arts Centre.