The end of the year is fast approaching and I’m confronting last minute jobs to be done, absolutely before the end of the year. Rationally, I know it’s just another day….but there’s this burning urge to finish certain tasks, leaving them in the year 2014, so that I may have a clean slate to start the New Year, a fresh.
One of those matters is the annual portrait of Matthew Mitcham. I have been documenting Matthew for quite a few years now, almost 9. Wow, how time flies! At some point in the year I ask Matt to sit for a formal portrait for the purpose of adding a new image to the line up.
This portrait takes the form of a cropped head shot. It is shot in a similar fashion each year, without being clinically precise in it’s recreation as I want to leave a small margin for variation and creative interpretation. So a few days before the New Year I am releasing the 2014 version of this series (pictured below). For the whole series see the main web site under the tab, “Exhibition”.
MMXIV, 2014, Pigment inkjet on cotton rag, 112cm x 78cm, Edition of 9 (2AP)
Getting the lights set for the next photo shoot in the studio.
This time it’s 3 of the boys that form part of the regular entertainment at ARQ. Little X and Ivy League are among them.
I always enjoy these crazy shoots. When they walk in, I’m never sure what they will end up looking like…what costume they devised this time round….will they need the wind machine again (some of them love using that bloody wind machine).
But we always come up with something good and I always have fun shooting for the latest poster and waiting to see what the talented Richard Hughes comes up with for the final poster.
Lucky Daly Cherry-Evans, the young Sea Eagles football star, received a brand new BMW-X5 as part of a new partnership between “Royale Limousines” and the “Sea Eagles”.
I was asked to capture the moment for Royale Limousines.
I asked myself….“why don’t I get given a new car by someone?” I was very pleased for the young footballer, who by all accounts, deserved such a reward for his on field prowess. Daly was accompanied by his partner and 5 week old new addition to the family.
Well another week has passed! And boy, did it pass quickly. I am now on the home stretch with only little more than a week to go.
The teaching classes have been fantastic, with the kids moving well in terms of their understanding of photography and their willingness to take risks and find out what they can do.
We plan to have a small exhibition at the end of the week and invite all the parents into the centre for a bit of a look and some nibbles. That’s going to put a bit of pressure on the interpreter. LOL.
When we’re not in the class situation our time is spent traveling around to the various galleries and exhibitions that are on in Shanghai at the moment. The art scene here seems very vibrant and relatively open. I have seen some brilliant work here by various artists and marvel at the relative freedom these guys have to pursue their work. Firstly, they seem to take enormous risks in terms of what they are willing to pursue….many of them change style and subject as they would change their clothes, allowing themselves the freedom to pursue new ideas without considering how the market will respond. I like this approach. You may say that these Chinese artists have less of a free voice, with censorship present on every level of Chinese society……however, I seem to think this small barrier to absolute freedom of speech is surmounted easily and confidently by the artists who’s work I have seen, by innuendo, satire and irony. The censorship merely forces the artists to become more creative and subtle in the way they approach the subject or comment they wish to make….the comment is still made! Secondly, with China’s amazing industrial might, the artists here have access to materials and labour that may have been prohibitive to other artists elsewhere. They can also not limited by scale.
Well…..It’s been a while since my last post. However, I am writing from Shanghai!
What a blast this place is, just what the doctor ordered for a change of scenery and what a change of scenery.
I am here on an art residency program sponsored by ACAF (The Australia China Art Foundation), based in Melbourne and Shanghai and run by a wonderfully inspired Chinese lady called Yashian Shauble. I am over here in Shanghai for one month and I am teaching photography to disadvantaged kids and 3 different schools.
So for I am loving it! The children, as you can well imagine, are amazing. Even though it is, at times, exhausting working with young kids, they take so much……but they also give back so much more. This exchange is beautiful and you never really mind. Although, I don’t think I have the stamina to have chosen teaching as a profession. I have a lot more respect for those worthy professionals now!!
Below are some shots of various classes. I’ll keep posting as I go along. This will be the first post of many….or so I intend! LOL
Matt Mitcham dropped in to my studio the other night…..in hand was his latest stash of medals. The best one was the gold, of course and Matt was deservedly happy and proud of his achievements. I decided to snap a few shots……..
There I am, right up there with camera in hand! Finally, got the thrill of shooting Courtney Act (Global Ambassador for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) perched on the highest sail of the Opera House. Amazing experience! With limited time and tight technical restrictions you were more concentrated on getting the shot than taking in the remarkable view. However, it will be something I’ll remember for a long time to come. Courtney was the consummate professional and, as always, a joy to work with. Thanks to everyone involved in making the shoot happen, particularly the amazing staff at the Opera House for pulling all stops out to facilitate the shoot.