2013

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28 November–18 December 2013

PhotoAccess offers residency opportunities to a number of artists each year. An aim of the residency program is to assist emerging artists to develop their practice and present work to a wider audience.

PhotoAccess is a strong supporter of the ANU School of Art’s Emerging Artists Support Scheme (EASS): two of our residencies each year are awarded to Honours graduates in photomedia. Charles White and Aimee Fitzgerald are our residents from 2012. Support from the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy allows us to help emerging artists show their work as part of the HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions program.

Charlie White’s images in Work Prints are so far removed from the formal, large prints we saw in his 2012 graduating exhibition that they read like a repudiation of his earlier work. Not the carefully composed, carefully presented hand prints of an artist who owns the darkroom; the 20 small works in Work Prints are edgy, finished in a seemingly careless way and presented—many off centre—in basic frames. Although the images as reproduced in this catalogue have sharply defined edges, the exhibition images are like works in progress. Perhaps the title tells us there is more to come from this body of work, some of it made in Canberra and some during a stay in New York earlier this year. White seems to be striving for a new direction, perhaps a more authentic, more democratic way of representing the people he places in front of his camera.

While the presentation of the images in Work Prints may represent a departure from his earlier work, Charlie White hasn’t departed from his commitment to craft. The Silver-Selenide prints give these portraits a rich and compelling presence. In an interview for an piece by Chloe Mandryk in BMA Magazine’s 9 October 2012 issue, White spoke about his exhibition 80 in a way that seems equally applicable to Work Prints:

It’s the little things that count. Doing it this way rather than making digital prints gives the portraits a tonal range like they’re carved out of stone … I made these portraits to show the dignified beauty in people I know personally.

PhotoAccess is privileged to present Charlie White’s Work Prints to visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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28 November–18 December 2013

PhotoAccess offers residency opportunities to a number of artists each year. An aim of the residency program is to assist emerging artists to develop their practice and present work to a wider audience.

PhotoAccess is a strong supporter of the ANU School of Art’s Emerging Artists Support Scheme (EASS): two of our residencies each year are awarded to Honours graduates in photomedia. Aimee Fitzgerald and Charles White are our residents from 2012. Support from the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy allows us to help emerging artists show their work as part of the HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions program.

Aimee Fitzgerald offers us this biographical insight on her website (aimeefitzgerald.net):

Aimee Fitzgerald is a young Australian photographer. Born in 1990, she holds a bachelors degree in Visual Arts with First Class Honours. She has yet to develop an interesting biography. Has a family, came from a place, etc.

A closer look at the website—and her Facebook page and blog (narcissisthomejournal)—tells us that Aimee Fitzgerald is a very interesting person and artist with intriguing stories to tell. Thoughtful and adventurous, she makes questioning, intelligent work, speaking eloquently about her thoughts and fears.

We first saw Aimee’s work in 2011 in beautifully assembled images from the ‘Nostalgia for an Imaginary Past’ series in her Bachelor’s year graduating exhibition. She was photographer and model in works referencing depictions of women by eighteenth century European masters. In her Honours year she showed small, glowing images from her ‘Untitled’ series in light boxes. Some of the images from that series are included in this exhibition as wall works. Fitzgerald says about the series:

And then, well, I kept taking pictures. Just of little things, at home - rooms, furniture, possessions, members of my family and my own body. I had a great deal of film to play with, and the play came so naturally that the photographs soon began to accumulate and overwhelm my other work, and then, after most of the photographs themselves had been taken, became a Work themselves

PhotoAccess is privileged to present Aimee Fitzgerald’s deeply personal Home to visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Each year we select graduates from the Canberra Institute of Technology and the ANU School of Art for PhotoAccess emerging artist residencies. The intention is to assist those artists, most young and with limited exhibition experience, to develop and present new work in HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions. Residencies can involve mentoring, courses, access to facilities and equipment and, towards the end of each residency, exhibition opportunities. These exhibitions are assisted by funding under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy.

From the 2012 CIT graduating year we awarded residencies to two very different photographers, Dean Johnson and Tess Godkin. Dean and Tess have both received awards for academic achievement and established themselves in business as photographers. They both continue to make personal work outside their business.

We first saw Dean Johnson’s work in the CIT end of year exhibition at the High Court of Australia in late 2012. His intriguing, film noir inspired dark images were highly imaginative and immediately arresting.

The images in 'Grit' come out of Dean Johnson’s long time interest in skateboarding. They capture the moves, the moments of peak excitement, the magic of finding a new place to conquer (is Scrivener the ultimate challenge?) and the understated poetry of this democratic, street based sport. And maybe it’s more than sport! Johnson says:

'As all who are involved inevitably find out, skateboarding makes you look at the world from a different perspective. Countless adventuring hours have been spent seeking out the perfect place to skate, which the untrained eye would never look at twice. When talking about their work, most photographers will say there is a unique story or fond memory leading up to, and following the moment of capture. For me this exhibition is no exception'.

Dean Johnson’s glimpse into the lives and achievements of Canberra’s skateboarding fraternity is a rare thing—we are privileged to join them in their search for perfection. PhotoAccess is delighted to share Dean Johnson’s 'Grit' with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Each year we select graduates from the Canberra Institute of Technology and the ANU School of Art for PhotoAccess emerging artist residencies. The intention is to assist those artists, most young and with limited exhibition experience, to develop and present new work in HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions. Residencies can involve mentoring, courses, access to facilities and equipment and, towards the end of each residency, exhibition opportunities. These exhibitions are assisted by funding under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy.

From the 2012 CIT graduating year we awarded residencies to two very different photographers, Tess Godkin and Dean Johnson. Tess and Dean have both received awards for academic achievement and established themselves in business as photographers. They both continue to make personal work outside their business.

We first saw Tess Godkin’s work in the CIT end of year exhibition at the High Court of Australia in late 2012. Her exquisite food photography obviously had a strong pull for more than the PhotoAccess selectors because she was commissioned to make food photographs for The Capital Cookbook II launched in October 2013.

The images in 'Still' are not exclusively food based, but they demonstrate the same visual intelligence and attention to detail we saw in her CIT final year work. The lighting is subtle and precise, some images filled with a soft and gentle light, some employing chiaroscuro to give form and volume to her subjects. They are pared back still lives, focused on and clearly treasuring and understanding the fruits, flowers, eggs and objects she has placed so carefully in her picture frame.

Tess Godkin’s joyful 'Still' images seem to be an extension of her approach to photography generally. She says she absolutely loves her job as a wedding photographer and by the end of a wedding day she has sore cheeks from smiling. Of her work more generally she says:

'If I had to label my photography style I would say it’s a soft mix of photojournalism, fine art, fashion photography and a whole lot of fun! I love to photograph using romantic natural lighting and believe in choosing locations very carefully. I never interrupt a moment and I never pose situations that are already so magical on their own'.

We are delighted to share Tess Godkin’s 'Still' with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Images: Tabitha Mann; Annette Lock; Ulli Brunnschweiler

Hang it yourself (HIY) was conceived as a photographic interpretation of street art, accessible to everyone, a bit anarchic, and an easy, inexpensive way for first time and experienced artists to show work. But from its beginnings in 2008, HIY-time has been a worrying time for members. Their worries include the challenge of creating and presenting something noticeable, something different and something of quality. They visit those worries on the hard working staff of PhotoAccess and we willingly accept responsibility for advising on selection, printing, placement and the many other concerns members bring to us at HIY-time.

HIY 2013 is another great success, representing the wide diversity of subjects and media that interest our members.

We are pleased with the number of members accepting the challenge to show with us for the first time, including a series of wonderful black and white portraits from students in this year’s Spring Kids Holiday Program, images from Sam Freeman and Sam Whitmore—also Holiday Program students—and new members Sam Chapman, Edward Cocks, Anne Fulker, Annette Lock, Rena McCawley, Glenn Pure and Ed Russell.

Geoff Dunn, with his beautiful Starfield 1 and Evgeniy Bastrakov force our eyes to the heavens, Marie Lund moves us to contemplate eternity with her soaring cathedral interiors, Kerry Baylor suggests we should always be wary of omnipresent, insatiable street photographers; Tabitha Mann pays tribute to Bill Henson in four dark and powerful images. Richard Scherer and Barbie Robinson, fresh from Photoville in New York, share with us some of the flavour of those famous streets; Jane Greagg and Anne Rosenzweig reflect on streets closer to home; Margaret Kalms intrigues us with her enigmatic The Gatecrasher; Jane Duong’s spare, beautiful images from Western Australian and Vietnam demonstrate the truth in the old adage ‘less is more’.

The involvement of artists who have had solo HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions is again very pleasing. This year they include Kerry Baylor, Ian Copland, Suzie Edwards, Julie Garran, Margaret Kalms, Andrée Lawrey, Marie Lund and Barbie Robinson. Eleanor Cotterell, whose very successful 2013 Heritage Week exhibition with Karen Dace, Huts, Heritage and Homesteads, has given us five views of Canberra’s exquisite birdlife.

It’s unfair not to mention more of the artists but members and other visitors will make their own assessments and take away from HIY 2013 ideas that, we hope, will help them to develop their own work.

Congratulations to everyone who has participated in HIY 2013, making it another outstanding and memorable HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibition by PhotoAccess members.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Image: Joseph Cali, 'Rehydrate - Lake Eyre - 12'

Joe Cali’s contribution to photography in Canberra is enormous. PhotoAccess, recognising his work for the association—much of it voluntary—made him a Life Member in 2008. Joe was involved with the Canberra Photographic Society (CPS) for many years and was its President from 1999 to 2003.

As a teacher of thousands of aspiring and already proficient photographers, an office bearer of both organisations, an exhibiting member, curator and organiser of photographic field trips—in Australia and overseas—and as a ‘Mr fix it’, Joe Cali figures large in the photographic history of Canberra. He was invited to present this survey exhibition Something Old, Something New as a mark of our respect for his continuing support and the excellence of his work as a photographic artist.

Joe sums up 'Something Old, Something New' as:

'An exhibition of some older and some newer work. In the ‘Paris’ portfolio, I have tried to capture vignettes of street life in this most famous of cities. This was my last big body of work captured on film. The rest of the exhibition is devoted to exploration of the arid environment contrasted in drought and in flood, also the subject of my last solo exhibition. The two polyptych called ‘Desiccate’ explore the desiccated sands and plant matter found on the periphery of salt lakes during periods of drought. In January 2011, large 100 year floods inundated Queensland. I was in Brisbane at the time and having driven there, was stuck for 10 days when the floods effectively cut Brisbane off from the rest of the country. Six months later, those same flood waters finally reached Lake Eyre adding to the water of a smaller though still significant flood in 2010. I was at Lake Eyre in August 2011, a few weeks after the water arrived with the north lake 85 per cent full. Much of the ‘Rehydrate’ series was taken at this time'.

Joe Cali’s images are thoughtful and beautifully realised. They tell stories about the human condition and the state of the environment we live in. From his Paris street studies reminiscent of Eugène Atget to the landscapes of Australia’s vast interior Joe shares with us his view of the world. He is a principled and committed photographer and community member who I am proud to have known and worked with.

PhotoAccess is privileged to share Joe Cali’s survey exhibition 'Something Old, Something New' with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Dr Robert Boden was an important contributor to Canberra, its streetscapes and national institutions for more than 50 years. 'Freefall: glimpses into the life of Robert Boden' shares some insights into the man and his work through the eyes of his daughter, Dr Susan Boden, and just a small number of the many photographs made by him in the course of a full life. The Canberra we know today owes a great deal to Robert Boden, and PhotoAccess is proud to present 'Freefall' to visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Image: Josh Dykgraaf

100 Views of Canberra is a PhotoAccess Centenary of Canberra project, a book and exhibition recording the grand, not so grand and human faces of Canberra in its Centenary year through the eyes of 110 local photographers. While it does not define Canberra, its places and people, 100 Views of Canberra will help dispel many myths about and simplistic perceptions of the national capital.

Katsushika Hokusai’s 100 Views of Mount Fuji and the notion that anything can be viewed from many different points of view inspired the project. It was intended to encourage community engagement with the Centenary of Canberra, underlining the importance of celebrating our city’s great achievements over the past 100 years, giving people a way to become involved in the Centenary celebrations and promoting a fresh image of the national capital and its people. The collection of images responded to our invitation to participate and we are very pleased with and proud of the result.

Widely divergent places, moods, people and times of day are represented in the collection. Both the 100 Views of Canberra book supported by the ACT Government’s Community Centenary Initiatives Fund and the HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibition—made possible by PhotoAccess and the artists themselves—are valuable social documents.

Barbie Robinson initiated and coordinated the project and designed the book. David Chalker and Barbie Robinson were its joint editors and joint curators of the HUW DAVIES GALLERY 100 Views of Canberra exhibition. All of the staff of PhotoAccess and many of our volunteers contributed as well, and we thank them. Stephen Best of Macquarie Editions and Paragon Printers ensured the prints in the exhibition and the book, respectively, were of outstanding quality and worthy tributes to the Centenary of Canberra.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Marissa McDowell has worked in live production for the Canberra Raiders and Brumbies, hosts and produces an Indigenous radio program on 2XXfm 98.3 Community Radio and has worked on news and events with the ABC. She is a Wiradjuri woman, from Cowra in the Central West of New South Wales. Marissa is our 2013 Emerging Indigenous Photomedia Artist and 'Colours of India' is her first solo exhibition.

Listening to Marissa talk I heard a well educated and worldly woman. She spoke enthusiastically about her recent trip to India but said she only made a few photographs and was unsure how they would turn out. She needn’t have worried.

India is a favoured destination for photographers and travellers. Steeped in history, it is a country that has strong ties to the past and traditional ways of living, culturally as well as spiritually. The word ‘India’ itself conjures up colour in our minds, even if we have never been there. Looking at the images Marissa made in India a few immediately stood out for their honesty and response to something personal. My enthusiasm for her photograph Red Chair led Marissa to tell me that the green awning had reminded her of Cowra. ‘That shot’, she said, ‘… could have been made in my gran’s place.’

As human beings, we relate to what we know, and also to what reminds us of what we know. This is an important aspect of photography that cements our belief in something that already exists, whether it is a physical object or an emotion that we have felt before. Marissa’s 'Colours of India' doesn’t only show us what the title so obviously refers to. Her document of a far away land is a personal response to what Marissa has felt, and seen before. The photographs reveal her inquisitiveness and open-mindedness.

'Colours of India' by Marissa McDowell is our contribution to 2013 NAIDOC Week. PhotoAccess is privileged to share Marissa’s work with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

Sean Davey

Catalogue

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Image: Mattresses #5 Sydney, Australia 2013

We don’t have many mattresses in HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions, so it’s a little surprising that two of our exhibitions this year have brought a focus on these most fundamental domestic possessions. Ursula Frederick’s Sleepwalker took an intimate look at mattresses and the detritus of human life, concluding ‘… we are dreamily aware that something is wrong but we haven’t quite woken up to our condition’.

Emilio Cresciani shares Frederick’s concern for the future of our consumption mad, throwaway society, looking at mattresses, television sets, bottles, wire and other dumped material. He says:

'Remains of the Day investigates recycling yards and landfills, the largely unseen machinery of our consumer culture. These vast ‘left over’ landscapes are outside our normal experience but we are involved with them on a daily basis through the products we consume and discard'.

This concern for environment and the effects of unthinking consumption is a welcome counter to the unrelenting proponents of growth, most particularly in business and politics, who regularly refer to Australia as an economy rather than a society, to the effects of decisions and events on GDP rather than the general wellbeing of our community.

In Remains of the Day, his first solo exhibition, Emilio Cresciani has given us seven big, bold images. He has made photographs of thrown away objects, deconstructed and then reassembled them in ways that encourage us to go beyond their immediate, striking visual surfaces to interrogate and explore them for their component parts and meanings. This is a thought provoking group of works and a remarkably mature first exhibition.

PhotoAccess is proud to share Emilio Cresciani’s Remains of the Day with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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'Access all areas 2013' is a very different PhotoAccess members’ exhibition. Our guidelines for earlier years were somewhat prescriptive, resulting in more structured series and fewer works from each member. This year we gave members the chance to grow wings by targeting a bigger wall space; many responded in unexpected and brilliant ways.

From Kate Travis’s untitled, absorbing, massive vertical panorama to the 22 postcard size images in Richard Scherer’s 'Jumping for joy series' the range of responses is extraordinary, resulting in a visually diverse and intriguing exhibition.

We welcome those who are showing in a members’ exhibition for the first time this year, including Lyn Bonanno, Paul Jurak, Sarah Nathan-Truesdale, Liam Steele and Amita Tandukar

Seeing work on the wall in the context of a group show is a real learning opportunity for artists and one of the very important outcomes of our members’ exhibitions. Hang It Yourself 2013, from 17 October to 3 November, is the final show open to all members this year. Keep an eye on the website for details.

It was pleasing in this Centenary year that so many members chose Canberra themes, including Alan Charlton who ventured from the suburban streets to our fringing villages, Margaret Kalms who looked at Parliament House at night in three unusual and striking images, and Ian Marshall who went with his camera to several Canberra Day events to make the series '11th of March 2013'. What’s Scott Newman getting at in Truth in photography?—his portrait of a well known PhotoAccess identity?

The continuing involvement of artists who have had solo HUW DAVIES GALLERY exhibitions is very pleasing. This year they include Tim Anger, Kerry Baylor, Ian Copland, Suzie Edwards, Julie Garran, Margaret Kalms, Andrée Lawrey and Barbie Robinson. Many of the artists included in our major Centenary of Canberra project, the '100 Views of Canberra' book and exhibition to be launched on 1 August 2013, are represented.

Also represented in 'Access all areas 2013' are board members and advisers who volunteer their time and expertise to help PhotoAccess with its work (Ian Copland, Gilbert Herrada, Andrée Lawrey, Tabitha Mann and Brian Rope); staff members; tutors—Jane Duong, Scott Newman and Richard Scherer in particular; and volunteers (including Alan Charlton, Susan Henderson and Iain Cole).

'Access all areas 2013' continues the great tradition of engaging and adventurous PhotoAccess members’ shows.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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In his wonderful 'Canberra' (UNSW Press, Sydney, 2012) writer and journalist Paul Daley considered the national ambivalence towards, if not distain for the national capital and what might be done about it in this centenary year. He concluded that:

'No end of patient explanation or inclusive celebration of the centenary will destigmatise the place in a hurry.

Canberra has no real option but to get over itself—to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks'.

As he then conceded, ‘Easily said.’

In 2013 PhotoAccess is presenting a number of opportunities for people to bring their aesthetic and observational skills to look at the contemporary face of Canberra through photography. Our major project, the '100 Views of Canberra' exhibition and book, assisted by the Community Centenary Initiatives Fund, will be launched on 1 August.

Roland Henderson and Mark Mohell were thinking about present day Canberra and pondering some of the questions raised by Daley when they decided in 2012 to step out into Canberra’s suburbs in the pre-dawn hours. Theirs was not an attempt to defend Canberra to outsiders, clearly they shared Paul Daley’s view, but an exploration of the place and where it stands many years after its early planning and development. As they suggested in their 2012 exhibition proposal:

'Looking more closely at Canberra’s suburbs, their laneways, parks and public spaces reveal their development and societal changes over time. Early suburbs rose up without back fences and with clear and easy access to public space. This contrasts strongly with the suburbs constructed and planned in the later part of the century, which have dwellings built to the edge of the clearly defined property line, and no sense of community'.

'Verge' is one result of this exploration, Mohell and Henderson in the fine tradition of flâneurs making seemingly objective street based work with aesthetically attuned observation. They don’t propose definitive answers to questions in these 26 images made in near dark, people-less places. But on the cusp of day and night ‘… in Canberra’s streets we experienced quiet, soulful and inspiring moments.’

While they may not have set out to defend Canberra against its detractors, by making and showing this beautiful work Roland Henderson and Mark Mohell have contributed to the growing body of evidence that the city where we live has soul, meaning, strong community and, unfortunately, problems like other places in Australia.

PhotoAccess is delighted to present 'Verge' in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY at the Manuka Arts Centre.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Image: Brayshaws Hut 1 (Karen Dace)

'Huts, Heritage and Homesteads' is no preachy old history lesson. Although Karen Dace and Eleanor Cotterell aimed to give voice to the some of the pioneering stories of Canberra and, as they have said, ‘… dispute the view that Canberra lacks history …’, their exhibition is designed to seduce viewers, stimulate interest and, they hope, move people to get to know about the lives of our pioneers in the building of a region that had settler life well before Canberra became the national capital.

Karen Dace and Eleanor Cotterell made many trips to familiar and out of the way places over the past year—including Tuggeranong and Belconnen, the foothills of Mount Pleasant at Duntroon and hard to access areas of the Brindabellas—to give us a privileged look at important icons of the ACT’s built heritage.

They found beautiful bush and landscape settings in the Orroral Valley, captured the isolation and magnificence of Brayshaw’s Hut in an early morning frost, produced visual evidence of age and decay at Rock Valley Homestead and made images introducing us to the evocatively titled Nil Desperandum (‘no need to despair’—optimistically named by George Green and George Hatcliff in the 1890s). The modest and the grand buildings that preceded the building of the national capital are evocatively presented together, perhaps for the first time, in 'Huts, Heritage and Homesteads'.

While they were transported by the beauty of the places they visited, Dace and Cotterell were surprised by the sparse living conditions of our early pioneers. The photographs in 'Huts, Heritage and Homesteads' demonstrate the visual grandeur of the ACT region and suggest something of the lives of the people who dwelt in some of its rarely seen and visited huts and homesteads. Many of the places shown in this exhibition have been given heritage protection status by listing on the ACT Heritage Register and by active conservation by ACT Government agencies.

Although the information to research the stories is not conveniently available in one place, a Google search will open up many possibilities, including information about how to access some of these places through programs offered by the ACT Government and local community organisations. Detailed information for places listed on the ACT Heritage Register can be found at www.environment.act.gov.au/heritage

PhotoAccess is pleased to present 'Huts, Heritage and Homesteads' in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY as part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival and Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

The project was supported with funding made available by the ACT Government under the ACT Heritage Grants Program and the Capital Insurance Brokers Grant Award from the Capital Arts Patrons' Organisation (CAPO).

David Chalker

Catalogue

List of works

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Image: John Boyd Macdonald, Urambi Hills

For me living in Canberra is a privilege, not because it’s the national capital—although few of us would be here otherwise—but for a host of other reasons: like the beauty of the place, the closeness to bush, the extraordinary bird life in my garden, the diversity of cultures and cultural opportunities. 'Postcards from Canberra' suggests we see our lives in Canberra in different ways, but we all seem to have found something to celebrate in this our first members’ exhibition for 2013, Canberra’s Centenary year

Entries for our major Centenary project, '100 Views of Canberra', have now closed; we look forward to sharing a very exciting exhibition and book with you in August.

In more than 350 'Postcards from Canberra' members have ranged wide: big landscapes (John Boyd Macdonald, Helen McFadden, Paul Jurak), backstreets (Josie Alexandra, Bess Laaring), performance (Barbie Robinson, Anne Rosenzweig, Sally-Forth Heaney-Garzoli), the city at night (Brian Rope, Kate Travis), faces of Canberra people (Ulli Brunnschweiler) and not people (Kerry Baylor, Stephen Smith, Paul Livingston). There are familiar places and abstract interpretations of places. It’s a kaleidoscope—like Canberra itself, a place that’s easy to love despite its occasional bad press.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Biography

Simon Grose has been a journalist for almost four decades, from writing Rolling Stone profiles of AC/DC in the 1970s to delivering an online news service from the Canberra Press Gallery today.

All along he’s had a visual arts gene to express.

He thinks he sold a couple of paintings in his twenties. In his thirties he spent five years running a screenprinting studio. Three examples of his fabric prints are in the NGA collection.

Since then he has also been taking photos of television screens when something historic is happening. Or something he likes, or both.

Artist statement

One year – three Prime Ministers.

2013 was a fierce and chaotic watershed year in Australian Federal politics.

This slideshow is a cartridge of slices from the core sample of Politics 2013.

All protagonists are winners or losers, nobody stayed where they were.

Moments of pixels captured from TV screens, they reverb the history, the characters, and the technologies of our time.

We all have our favourite heroes and favourite demons. See them all snapped in our time.

Simon Grose, November 2013

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Images: Barbie Robinson,'February bird' (2006); Jocelyn Rosen, 'Abstract bust' (2009)

To commemorate its 25th Anniversary in September 2009 PhotoAccess produced a limited edition print portfolio of 16 images. Artists associated with PhotoAccess as board members, board advisors, staff, course tutors and exhibiting members donated the images.

This set of images is from the PhotoAccess Collection.

Macquarie Editions printed the portfolio with UltraChrome HDR pigment inks on 310 gsm Canson Infinity BFK Rives 100% rag in a numbered edition of 25, with one artist’s proof. Proceeds from the sale of the edition will help PhotoAccess continue its work providing community access to the photo based arts through exhibitions, courses and special projects. The first 10 sets are for sale as boxed sets. Images numbered 11 to 20/25 are for sale individually.

Two boxed sets and a number of individual prints have been sold and one set was donated to the ACT Government for the collection of the Canberra Museum and Gallery.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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We first saw Travis Heinrich’s outstanding multimedia work in the 2011 ANU School of Art Graduating exhibition and invited him to show in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY Multimedia Room. Before he moved to Melbourne in 2012 Heinrich’s work earned him a number of awards and was the subject of articles and reviews in print and electronic media. Travis has created a new untitled piece for this showing. We are delighted to share it with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

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Image: Damascus t@-minus 12 days before the storm broke

The United Nations estimates that 70,000 people have lost their lives since the start of the conflict in Syria in March 2011. One million refugees have fled to Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Cities, homes and schools destroyed, streets deserted.

Josh Wodak has packed an extraordinary amount of activity into the last few years, including a visit to Syria on the eve of the mid March 2011 events which presaged the bloody, incomprehensible atrocities that are now daily fodder for the world media.

March seems to be a significant month for Wodak. His first PhotoAccess solo exhibition, 'Sense of Surroundings', in March last year followed his involvement in a number of our group exhibitions in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY. We are pleased to welcome him back to the gallery with 'Semblance of Stability', an eerily beautiful series of images that suggest the disaster to come.

Wodak places the 'Semblance of Stability' work in a philosophical context in his Artist Statement:

'All photography embodies loss—whether as a sense of nostalgia or memory—as every photograph is a miniscule moment in time that only ever increases in distance from the present. Semblance of Stability draws on this lament that photography encapsulates, though it draws the focus onto the contemporary crises of Syria, and whether a life anything like that depicted in this series can be regained'.

What we see here is a mirage: there are discordant elements in these seemingly peaceful pre-war images, a sense of things off balance implied by their composition, figures moving out of frame, wistful and sometimes suspicious looks into the distance, eyes downturned, children juxtaposed with bloody carcasses. As ever Josh Wodak’s work challenges our emotions and provokes inspection. We are delighted to share 'Semblance of Stability' and its strong humanist message with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

2013-02-07 18:00
2013-02-24 16:00
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Image: Mud Stoves

Images of electrical goods are painted crudely on an earthy pink wall. Is it a lie or a statement of aspirations? Caitlin Welch calls it false advertising because there is no power in this place. Can a bare scrap of land with grazing animals really be a community kitchen? What does the intriguing philosophical assertion on the wall in the Katete District Health Office mean and how does it promote good health?

Caitlin Welch is asking us to see and think about people and places far removed from our own lived experience. Presumably far removed from her own experience before 2011, when she went to Africa:

'… the cradle of civilization, with my camera in hand. This was where my quest to be a documentarian became very real. So many crazy, beautiful, breathtaking moments just waiting to be captured and shared'.

Caitlin Welch was greatly moved by Africa. The images and short film that make up Develop, her first solo exhibition, convey a strong sense of her experience there and engage our interest and curiosity in Tikondane, a ‘… sustainable, loving community’ in the district of Katete, in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Like people the world over the people of this community work, rest and play, but they do so in ways few of us will ever experience first hand.

The images in Develop are sensitively observed and well crafted, getting to the essence of Welch’s subjects and conveying a sense of achievement and optimism in the lives of these people. The video takes a tour of the community, examines current issues in the Katete district and looks at how people are starting to become more empowered to make change and grow with the help and framework provided by Tikondane. Welch is so committed to this organisation’s good work that money made from exhibition sales will go back to Tikondane to help further build the free community school.

We are delighted to share Caitlin Welch’s Develop with visitors to the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

2013-01-17 18:00
2013-02-03 18:00
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One of the commercial television channels recently presented as news a vox pop on the subject of climate change. The people interviewed were all big city residents; the hook for the story was our recent bout of record breaking hot weather and nation wide extreme, in some places catastrophic, fire conditions. History will tell that the concerns of the forecasters, who cautiously referred to climate change, were well founded and that, miraculously, few lives were lost.

Perhaps I missed the critical part of it (I hope I did) but I didn’t hear any real science on the subject. The subtext was that climate change is a hoax. One ‘well’ informed man summed it up succinctly: ‘I’m a huge sceptic!’

It’s reassuring to know ignorance is tolerated in modern Australia. We can’t all be perfectly well informed. But it’s not so reassuring that the media, most obviously radio, thinks it’s okay to present the sad views of a few just to get a story; or maybe there’s a more sinister explanation? Thank heavens for artists who take an interest in and want to speak about the cold reality confronting us and, more cruelly, future generations.

Ursula Frederick is an artist whose conviction based work draws our attention to issues many people seem happy to ignore. In 'Sleepwalker' she turns her attention to ‘… the cyclic disorder of consumption and waste …’ Unlike the Australian Social Realist artists of the 1940s and 50s, though, she is less strident, less obvious, more deeply thoughtful in her condemnation of the problems she observes. As she says in her Artist Statement, ‘Like the somnambulist oblivious to its surroundings, we are dreamily aware that something is wrong but we haven’t quite woken up to our condition’.

The images in 'Sleepwalker' are deceptive. At one level they have a strong decorative impact: carefully composed pattern and colour, some with tricky optical properties. Looked at more closely they reveal evidence of human habitation. Thought about they are pretty unsavoury—stains and other relics of people and the time spent in their beds. It’s a very intimate look. As Frederick says ‘…each and every imperfection in the mattress is a reminder of human frailties and our shortsightedness.’

It’s not too surprising to learn that Ursula Frederick has a background in archaeology, and that her current doctoral research explores such themes as value creation, the everyday, obsolescence and transformation. Thankfully she is committed to sharing her thoughts through her art and we welcome the opportunity to show her work in the challenging and intriguing 'Sleepwalker' in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY.

David Chalker

Catalogue

2013-01-17 18:00
2013-02-03 16:00
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In his catalogue introduction for the August 1992 'Spirit Series' exhibition at Sydney’s Stills Gallery, Huw Davies touched on themes that ran through the work and, undoubtedly, his own life at that time:

'soul – essence – love – unity – enigma – alchemy – apparition – figment – thought – death – remain – flow – change – transform – sprite – siren – sage – fool – demon – god – mad

There are spirits within us all and I offer these views. The pictures are untitled so that you may name them. Please leave a comment in the book'.

His last exhibition, 'Some questions of belief', was shown at CASA (Consolidated Artists Studio Association) Gallery, Rozelle, in October 1993. It was a mix of black and white and hand coloured works that built on the Spirit Series themes but also—in a group of portraits inscribed by his subjects with statements about their beliefs—brought into play the principles, in particular respect for others, that drove Huw’s extensive community work.

Three months later Huw killed himself during a period of acute depression. He told his sisters that he feared his mind had split into a good part and an evil part, which were warring. He feared his evil mind would force him to kill his mother. He saw suicide as his only alternative

This small survey of late works by Huw Davies is one of our two first exhibitions in Canberra’s Centenary year. Huw was a significant contributor both to PhotoAccess and to documenting and developing community in Canberra during the 1980s.

From 1984 until he left for Sydney in August 1988 Huw Davies was involved in all aspects of PhotoAccess. He continued his involvement until late 1992 through projects, a PhotoAccess Kingsley Street showing of the 'Spirit Series', and as a contributor to group exhibitions and fundraising.

Huw Davies’ life took many interesting turns. Although PhotoAccess was a relatively brief stop along the way, it was a measure of his contribution to its continuing philosophy that PhotoAccess named its exhibition space the HUW DAVIES GALLERY when it moved to the Manuka Arts Centre in 2002.

With the support of his sisters Branwen and Jocelyn PhotoAccess presented 'Huw Davies: Everything under the sun' in September 2008. It was the first survey of Huw Davies’ work and life, an overdue tribute to an artist with a strong creative drive and significant influence as a teacher, organiser and visual artist. The catalogue for 'Huw Davies: Everything under the sun' can be accessed below.

This selection of works from the PhotoAccess Collection and on loan from Branwen Davies also pays tribute to Huw and illustrates the themes of love—celebrated and despaired of—spirit, self, sexuality, connection, respect, questioning and landscape, consistent threads of his work and life.

David Chalker

Catalogue

Huw Davies: Everything under the sun ... catalogue