In conjunction with the National Film and Sound Archive’s Mervyn Bishop: The Exhibition, PhotoAccess is delighted to present Intimate Icons, an extended darkroom photography workshop celebrating and responding to the work of Mervyn Bishop, one of Australia’s most influential photo-journalists.
Mervyn Bishop fell in love with photography when a schoolfriend’s father showed him the magic of darkroom printing. He went on to become one of Australia’s most influential photographers, and is particularly well-known for his documents of diverse aspects of Indigenous Australian life in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of Mervyn’s images, such as his shot of then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam pouring sand through the hand of Gurindji traditional owner Vincent Lingiari in 1975, became national icons. Others, such as his photographs celebrating Aboriginal community life, documenting Aboriginal people’s living conditions or narrating the impact of religious missions on Aboriginal men, women and children, remain significant social documents.
In this eight-week experience, you’ll join established darkroom specialist Wouter Van de Voorde for a hands-on exploration of Mervyn Bishop’s incredible photographic legacy. After investigating Mervyn’s works on display at the NFSA and learning more about the context for their creation, you’ll shoot and create your own portfolio of black & white darkroom images responding to Mervyn’s distinctively warm, intimate and engaging documentary style. You might create work responding to certain gestures or figures in Mervyn’s images, for example, or be inspired by particular themes or scenes or reflect on Mervyn’s dramatic use of light or his ‘within the frame’ compositions.
As a collective, the workshop will work towards a professionally produced photo-book showcasing the outcomes of the experience. Photo-book production and printing costs are included in your workshop fee.
We’re planning for Mervyn to join one of the workshop sessions to discuss his practice and demonstrate his darkroom technique (subject to travel and health restrictions).
Intimate Icons is suitable for everybody with basic photography skills. No previous analogue or darkroom photography experience is required. Ages 16 +.
PhotoAccess has available two workshop bursaries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander photographers. These bursaries will cover the cost of the workshop and include free access to the PhotoAccess darkroom for the duration of the program. If you’d like to apply for one of these bursaries, please send us an email at [email protected], telling us a little bit about yourself and why you’d like to join the Intimate Icons workshop.
The EOIs for the bursaries close on the 14th of April.
Intimate Icons will run over eight sessions, with some variation in days/times.
Session 1: Thursday 29/4/2021 from 5:00 to 7:30pm
At the National Film and Sound Archive – Introductions and a Curator’s Talk and Q&A about Mervyn Bishop: The Exhibition.
Session 2: Saturday 8/5/2021 from 1:00 to 4:00pm
On Location – Conceptualising projects and shooting images
Session 3: Wednesday 19/5/2021 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
PhotoAccess – Developing negatives and printing images
Session 4: Saturday 22/5/2021 from 1:00 to 4:00pm
PhotoAccess or On Location – Extending your image collection and/or processing images
Session 5: Saturday 29/5/2021 from 1:00 to 4:00pm
PhotoAccess or On Location – Visit with Mervyn Bishop (TBC); Extending your image collection and/or processing images;
Session 6: Wednesday 9/6/2021 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
PhotoAccess – Refining and focusing your body of work; Printing and re-printing images;
Session 7: Wednesday 16/6/2021 from 6:30 to 9:30pm
PhotoAccess – Finalising your portfolio of images;
Session 8: Saturday 26/6/2021 from 1:00 to 4:00pm
PhotoAccess – Sequencing your final body of work for the shared publication.
The workshop will re-convene for a celebratory launch of the book. Date and format to be confirmed.
As well as great creative tutoring and a new group of friends, your Intimate Icons workshop fee includes:
For Intimate Icons, you’re welcome to bring your own 35mm film camera, with charged batteries and whatever lenses or other accessories you would like to use. If you don’t have a film camera, we have some available for use. Please contact us in advance of the workshop if you’d like to talk to us about equipment. Email us at: [email protected]