Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

Archive for October 2011

23-28 October: A week of exhibition openings

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Three exhibitions and six bodies of great work made by Art Photography students from the Diploma of Photoimaging @ SQIT were opened this week at venues across the Darling Downs.

SHOW 1: INSPIRING WOMEN ~ Shanea Rossiter @ Warwick Regional Art Gallery

The exhibition features portraits of women who have inspired Shanea. The exhibition supported a fundraiser for the Queensland Cancer Council, in particular Breast Cancer. Shanea’s mother is a breast cancer survivor, she told of her story as part of her opening address.

'Inspirational Women' opening address by Narelle (Shanea's mother)

Shanea's portrait subjects line up for a group portrait

See for more details : http://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/story/2011/10/20/images-tell-tale-of-strength.


SHOW 2: Group Show ~ Cowboys (by Cynthia McBride), Faeries (by Jodi Watt), Phone boxes (Tracey St Johnwood) and Collage (Lorelei Clarke) @ Futures Gallery, SQIT.

The exhibition by these four photographers was opened by artist Adrianne Prague. In the opening address Adrienne spoke of the challenges for photography to be considered art. She drew on her knowledge of the history of art including the artist Joshua Reynolds.

Tracey, Lorelei, Cynthia and Jodi listen to Adrienne's opening address

Jodi Watt's image wall

Faeries in the landscape

Image from Cynthia McBride's "Camooweal Calling"

Lorelei Clarke and her collages


SHOW 3: 2011 CANNONBALL RUN (Charity Ride) by Lindsey Collier @ Pittsworth Regional Art Gallery.

This exhibition consists of a documentary series that Lindsey made of the dirt bike charity ride fro Bribie Island in Queensland to the Barossa Valley  via Uluru. The ride supported the DEBRA Charity and raised $34,000. The exhibition featured framed images, a limited edition book and video fusion presentations of the event.

2011 Cannonball Run exhibition @ Pittsworth Regional Art Gallery

Lindsey Collier (centre) being photographed with Debra representatives Simone Baird (l) and Sue McKenna (r)


NEWS STORY: http://www.cannonballride.com.au/joomla/index.php/media/54-media-stories/106-pittsworth-sentinel-

A PICTURE GALLERY: http://www.behance.net/gallery/2011-Cannonball-Charity-Ride/1915715


All photos by Doug Spowart

22 October – Through the Chronicle Lens Exhibition

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Through the Chronicle Lens Exhibition @ The Cobb & Co Museum, Toowoomba

When you’re a news photographer there’s a tendency to think of the types of subjects you want to photograph will be wars, celebrity, massive events and international sports. But what of the reality if you find yourself as a photographer on a regional newspaper on the other side of the Great divide? Do you wake up every morning wishing you were in the big city and the big time?

An exhibition of news images celebrating the 150th anniversary of Toowoomba’s Chronicle newspaper may provide some answers. Like where are the big stories – the ones that matter? What I would submit to you is that great photo opportunities exist everywhere and great photographers can find the amazing story in any situation. This exhibition bares testimony to this proposition. The Chronicle’s photographers, and there haven’t been too many of them over the last 30 years, toil in the daily grind of regional news. Their editor’s assignment briefs include the Chihuahua ‘Taco’ at the RSPCA, the buxom topless waitress at the Five Ways Hotel and Louise at the Crows Nest Op Shop – not the exotic stuff of the dailies. The exhibition shows the range of opportunities and how these lensmen and lenswoman Bev, carry out their duties.

I found the images on show spoke of the photographer not only doing their job for the newspaper, but also doing something for the community by receiving and recording their stories. It is perhaps in this that the true value of the regional news photographer.

Photographers - Kevin Farmer, Bev Lacey and Neville Madsen

SEE Link for the Chronicle Story


Nev Madsen's Walkley Award image: Flash Flood Rescue


Great images that the world will notice do come to the regional photographers. Nev Madsen we to work on Tuesday January 11 thanking it just another day – However by day’s end Toowoomba was inundated by flash flooding an lives were being jeopardized. Nev found himself as witness to the life and death drama of frantic attempts to save people caught up in the swirling waters. He made his pictures of the dreadful moment and they were published world-wide.

Recently he was awarded a Walkley Award for Best Community and Regional Photography – Congratulations Nev.

SEE THE CHRONICLE STORY  http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2011/10/14/chonicle-photographer-bags-walkley/

Nev with his award winning image in the exhibition

20 October – The end of the Roid Exhibition Opening

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Type 59 transfer: Tracey+Shanea by Wayne Radford

Photo: Ian Poole. Wayne Radford being photographed by Doug Spowart

Type 59 transfer: Wayne Radford by Doug Spowart

Photo: Ian Poole. Doug uses white wine as the transfer fluid!

Ian Poole photographed by Wayne Radford 10x8 Type 809 Polaroid

Vicky and Doug: Portrait by Wayne Radford


Wayne Radford’s last portrait was of Victoria and myself. The Type 59 Polaroid sheet film had sat in the bottom of the box for over 5 years beyond the expiry date and the mark of time left as a humidity smear of magenta in a reduced D-max. It’s a great image — and a fitting end to the ‘Roid’.



END OF THE ROID – Polaroid Transfer Gallery

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Here is a selection of the Polaroid transfers on show in the exhibition “The end of the ROID”

Written by Cooper+Spowart

October 18, 2011 at 12:21 pm


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Watch a Video of the momentous occasion – the last Polaroid box opening, loading the Polaroid back, the last Polaroid “Pull”, the last few transfers and lifts ever to be taught to and done by students – teachers – anyone!!


A Gallery of images will be posted soon.



19 Sept Shutterbug Photo Comp – Carnival of Flowers

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To coincide with he annual Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba a competition called ShutterBug Tales takes place. This year I participated as a judge for the comp alongside photographers John Elliott and Maurice Alamos. The judging was held in the theatre of the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE and was an unusual event. The audience, consisting of entrants and interested members of the public, watched on and asked questions of the judges about their selection of the finalists – the winners were determined later ‘in camera’.

Maurice, Doug, Peter, Heather (organiser)+John

A presentation to the winners was made on September 19 and was attended by around 40 interested persons. The Mayor of the Toowoomba Regional Council Peter Taylor even got into the spirit of things by making an image or two on the night.

The winners were:

SEE this link for further details and the Carnival of Flowers


1 October: Picking up some thesis help

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At a break during thesis reworking – bringing it up to the penultimate draft we went down to Diggers Beach. The challenge of philosophy is to contemplate the inconceivable:  find clarity in the profoundly obscure.

I was faced by the ultimate in natural phenomena – a shadow. My recent readings of Deleuze, Derrida and Bachelard gave me an understanding to perceive and confront the impossible – – – – –

Shadow pickup 1

This one's for Bachelard

This one's for Deleuze

This one's for Derrida

Pictures by Victoria Cooper under direction.

Written by Cooper+Spowart

October 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm

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