Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

Archive for November 2011

26 November: Robyn Stacey “House to House” @ Jan Manton Art, Brisbane

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This afternoon we attended the opening and book launch of Robyn Stacey’s latest project “House to House” at Jan Manton Art in Brisbane.


Jan Manton introduces Dr Amanda Bell who opened the exhibition

The work on show at Jan Manton Art is but a small selection of a larger body of work that was on show earlier this year at Stills Gallery in Sydney. This was a great selection from the larger show and included the book launch of a considerable volume on the historic house project. Working to extend the perception of the curatorial selection and exhibition, Stacey has embedded narrative and playful sense of discovery in the images she created of these objects.

Victoria Cooper

Stills Gallery show: Tall Tales and True


Robyn Stacey discusses work

A comment by Doug Spowart

A veteran of museum and archive still life subject matter Robyn Stacey presents at this showing, 6 large-scale colour photographs. The photographs deserve and reward intense observation as each image is akin to peering through a magnifying glass where finite detail is revealed as the eye moves across the plane of view. Most photographs blend artefacts form the historical houses alongside the contemporary living subjects, usually of flora, fruit and nuts.

The images exist as tantalizing trompe-l’œil. The viewer is drawn through the photographic surface by the artist’s careful compositional placement of subject, the descriptive lighting employed, and the now uncommon experience of large format camera sharpness. Here the original visual experience of the texture, depth and space of what was carefully placed before the camera is reconstituted on the gallery wall.

Today, as growing response to the immediate digital snapshot, a movement called ‘slow photography’ is emerging taking its lead from the ‘slow’ food movement) These photographs, made as planned, considered, composed, placed, illuminated and imaged are perhaps the epitomy of the movement. David Hockney once proposed that the more time the artist takes making an artwork the more the viewer will get out of it. Robyn Stacey’s work is made with time and therefore will reward even the most intense, continued and considered observation.

Robyn and Vicky talk about the work

Photos: Doug

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 26, 2011 at 10:15 pm

26 November: The last student @ the State Library of Qld

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The academic year is nearly over and students don’t need to be at the State Library of Queensland researching and studying – the place is empty, no-one is in the stacks. But then again – look closely …




The dedicated student still at work!!

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 26, 2011 at 9:56 pm

24 November: A Photographer’s Gathering – Nev Madsen

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Neville Madsen interview

About thirty local photographers gathered at an event at the Toowoomba Cobb and Co Museum to celebrate the work of photographers from the Toowoomba Chronicle newspaper. Featured in this event organised by Cobb and Co staff member and photographer Tony Coonan was an interview with Walkley Award winning photographer Neville Madsen. The interview was conducted by local photography identity John Elliott. John posed questions about Nev’s beginnings in photography, his early experiences in Warwick under the tuteladge of John Harrison and Gordon Brown, how he feels about working for newspapers today, and the circumstances of his making the award-winning photograph.

An animated Nev answers John's questions

As a testemony to Neville’s dedication to being a documenter of his community he was not on duty on the day of the flood – via a scanner he was aware of what was happening and went to a location he thought would provide some action. He started shooting video and soon realised that what he was witnessing was a significant life threatening drama and grabbed his ‘real camera’ to capture the unfolding event.

Neville Madsen with John Elliott

Words and photos: Doug Spowart

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

14+15 November: Second Year Photo Assessment

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On these two days Second Year Diploma of Photoimaging students from the SOuthern Queensland Institute of TAFE participated in an industry assessment of their folios and professional practice preparedness. The assessors were AIPP Queensland Division President Jan Ramsay, accompanied by Mark Schoeman, well-known photo identities Ian Poole, John Elliott and Andy Cross and local photographer Syd Owen.

Student folios from the key industry disciplines, Domestic portraiture, Commercial and Media were assessed. The assessment included work samples that would be expected from practitioners of the disciplines, business operation documents, website and online networking sites such as Linkedin, Behance Creative Portfolio and WordPress blogsites. The assessment expectations are comprehensive and represent the intended expectations of the CUV50407 Diploma in Photoimaging training package.

Ian Poole, Syd Owen, Andy Cross with student Shanea Rossiter

To see a sample of the online presence that students create see:

Lindsey Collier’s Linkedin site.


And Philippa Hodges’ Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philippa-hodges/30/62b/718

NOTE: To see the full folio you may need to be signed in as a Linkedin member.

Pictures to follow

Cheers Doug

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

12 November: Sandy Barrie Presentation & Ruby’s 83rd Birthday

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Earlier posts describe the plight of Ipswich flood survivor Sandy Barrie. Today we reinstated his AIPP Honorary Life Membership Certificate and Ribbon both of which were lost in the flood. The occasion was shared with Ruby Spowart who celebrated her 83rd Birthday party with family.

Sandy Barrie with Ruby Spowart

Sandy was appreciative of the efforts made to get the award reissued by Queensland Divisional President Jan Ramsay. The event was witnessed by a deputation consisting of three AIPP Honorary Fellows.

Ruby + Annie about to blow out the candles

Best wishes to both Ruby and Sandy.

Cheers  Doug and Vicky

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm

11 November: Jan and Mark’s exhibition opening

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  A wildly exciting exhibition was opened last night featuring the first art photography exhibition by AIPP members Jan Ramsay and Mark Schoeman. The show is presented on the premises of Flute Fine Foods @ 380 Cavendish Road Coorparoo in Brisbane.

Jan + Mark @ the opening of their show

In the opening address I made the following comments:

Jan and Mark, as professional photographers and AIPP members, have stumbled upon the ultimate promotional activity in the the form of the art photography exhibition. They have created a convivial environment within the Flute Gallery, they have presented their photographic interests as fine art images of high key flowers (Jan) and female nudes (Mark), they have assembled an eclectic bunch of people and lubricated the conversation with fine wines and good food. Tonight friendships will be made or re-affirmed – participants will propose, make love and feel the joy of living. They will then want their engagements to be photographed, weddings recorded, babies and kids to be documented … The cycle goes on and on.

This evening we are all part of that strategy – So look at the art, be inspired. Consider your options for the future need for a photographer – Or – even just enjoy the moment, the present company and the art works presented here that come from the creative urges of these two remarkable people!

Mark’s high key nude + Jan’s high key flower transfer

Congratulations Jan and Mark.

Words+portrait photo: Doug Spowart

11 November: Visit to Noreen Grahame + Gallery

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 It has been a while since the flood but Noreen has reopened with a new show featuring a selection of the etchings of Euan Macleod from 2004~2009.*

Noreen in conversation with Vicky

Noreen spoke of how she responded to the early signs of the imminent flood and began packing her extensive collection of art on the Sunday, days before the reality of the inundation was to hit Brisbane. She spoke of people in her area not being aware of what may happen.

With help from family and others including Anne Kirker and Helen Cole she was able to clear the building of artworks, furniture and framing equipment. The contents were stored in the homes of friends and family until, months later and after refurbishment of the gallery, she was able to return.

She commented on the fantastic support she had received including the fundraising auction that was organised by friends.

Noreen engaged both of us in conversation and, as usual when the conversation turned to things artists’ books, she disappeared and came back with examples of the works we were discussing from her collection. It was just like old times …

Congratulations on your achievement Noreen – Welcome back.

Words+pic: Doug Spowart

*Euan Macleod’s show continues until 26 November. A companion exhibition of Macleod’s painting works is on show at the Victor Mace Fine Art Gallery in Milton.

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 12, 2011 at 2:17 pm

11 November: Service for Helen Cooper

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 Today we interred Vicky’s mum’s ashes in a service conducted at Stuartholme College of the Sacred Heart. Vicky’s father Reg was the first lay burser for the school and held that position for over ten years. When he passed away permission was granted for his ashes to be buried in the school’s cemetary. On this day we placed Helen’s ashes alongside Regs’ grave.

The service was conducted by Graham Woodward and attended by family members and Sister Rita Carroll. It will certainly add something special to Remembrance Day in the future for us all.

The assembled family @ the service

I made a personal video featuring excerpts of the service.

Words+pics+video: Doug Spowart

10 November: Tim Handfield Kodak Seminar, Brisbane

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Tim Handfield discusses Kodak papers

Tim Handfield has a great deal of experience in the world of art photography in Australia as well as the technology of digital imaging. Apart from this seminar series his works are currently on show at the Monash Gallery of Art in the exhibition Skin Deep.

As a teacher I found this seminar extremely valuable. Tim confirmed many concepts and strategies that I employ in my work with students, but more importantly he extended my knowledge by the ideas and techniques he passed on and demonstrated. Of particular interest was a set of prints that Tim had prepared that were made on Kodak type C and inkjet papers (shown in the picture above). Despite the images being generated through wet Kodak processes and Epson inkjet pigments, they look amazingly similar. Kodak’s baryta and canvas inkjet papers looked great – I want to do some work with them.

Tim’s presentation was punctuated by a wide range of questions for the 12 attendees. He was able to respond to these questions in ways that matched the audiences’ skill levels and, in doing so, extended our collective understanding of the topic. Accompanying the seminar was a detailed workbook with example images supplied on a CD for participants.

Words and image: Doug Spowart

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November 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm

8 November: JUDGING @ TWBA Photo Society

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As the judge for the November set subject competition I …

More to come

Working through the images the night before

Discussing a print

Discussing a projected image

All photos: Victoria Cooper

Written by Cooper+Spowart

November 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

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