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Archive for June 2013

UPDATE: Nocturne Muswellbrook

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Intersection of Sydney & Haydon Streets

Intersection of Sydney & Haydon Streets

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We’ve been busy in the Nocturne Muswellbrook project – Here is an update …

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A NEWSPAPER STORY

Chronicle News story: 28 June 2013

Chronicle News story: 28 June 2013

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Our Gallery

The Nocturne Gallery in SHop 8 Campbell's Corner

The Nocturne Gallery in SHop 8 Campbell’s Corner

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An ABC Radio interview

Mike Pritchard from ABC Radio interview

Mike Pritchard from ABC Radio interview

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A presentation to the local Camera Club

Muswellbrook & District Camera Club

Muswellbrook & District Camera Club

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Working in the rain – nearly every night lately …

St Alban's Anglican Church

St Alban’s Anglican Church

St James' Catholic Church

St James’ Catholic Church

56 Bridge Street

56 Bridge Street

Southern end of the Subway

Southern end of the Subway

Corner Sydney St and Maitland Road

Corner Sydney Street and Maitland Road

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SEE MORE IMAGES AND TO ALSO MAKE A PERSONAL COMMENT ON THE POSTS about your experience of ‘PLACE’ or stories evoked by the subjects we have photographed:

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FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nocturne-Muswellbrook-Project/462047657214253.

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The Blog: www.nocturnemuswellbrook.org

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Comment Now …

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© 2013 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for The Nocturne Muswellbrook Project

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ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: Muswellbrook Nocturne

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Nocturne-NEG-Logo-72

Nocturne Muswellbrook

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Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart

Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart

 

For those of you who have been following our nocturne work over the last twelve months at WOOLI and in XMAS STREET we are now working on a new project in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. We are Artists in Residence at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre and are now making nocturne photographs at dusk using the afterglow of sunset and streetlights documenting the town of Muswellbrook.

Nocturne light creates a sense of drama or a setting for a movie scene – a place where stories can be evoked and told. In this work we explore of the idiosyncratic nature of the architecture and street scenes of country and regional towns. The prosaic nature of these towns, when photographed in the dusk light, becomes part of a found aesthetic–a site-specific sculpture of light, colour and form. But there is also a visual narrative, isolated and exhumed by this light, one that has evolved from the activity of everyday life—yet the familiarity rendered it invisible.

Making the photographs is only the beginning of the project’s activity; the next part involves making a space for the telling of stories. Therefore the photographs are being posted on social media sites, a blog and Facebook to attract comments.

We now call upon the Muswellbrook community to share their stories of each place including their everyday and meaningful experiences by connecting with the project’s Blog and Facebook sites. We also invite other participants to comment if the photographic subject invokes the recollection of an experience or story.

The Blog: www.nocturnemuswellbrook.org

and Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nocturne-Muswellbrook-Project/462047657214253

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Doug+Vicky moving in to the Artists in Residence Studio

Doug+Vicky moving in to the Artists in Residence Studio

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The Residence Studio

The Residence Studio

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© 2013 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for The Nocturne Muswellbrook Project

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DOUG Has article on Photobooks in BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY

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The winter edition of Peter Eastway’s BETTER PHOTOGRAPHY includes an article by Doug on Photobooks. The piece covers a step-by-step discussion on making your own photobooks from concept to output, either by DIY or Print-on-demand.

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BP-Cover

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Here’s page one of the article …

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Page 1 Better Photography

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DOWNLOAD A PDF of the article here: SPOWART-Photobooks-Better_Photography

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AND – Do buy the magazine for the other great stories and prizes!!

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MEMORY COLLECTIVE: A performance documentary project

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The Memory Collective painting by Damien Kamholtz

The Memory Collective painting by Damien Kamholtz

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The Memory Collective is a multi-disciplinary collaboration orchestrated by artist Damien Kamholtz. Kamholtz states: The Memory Collective Project is a creative collaboration between 12 artists across eight artistic disciplines exploring concepts and themes relating to the human condition such as change, constants, history, refection and memory. The artworks created during the project will make up an exhibition to be held at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery in September 2013.

There are different stages to the project. First Kamholtz created a large 2.2 metre square painting, while sculptor, Jessie Wright constructed the large vessel to hold the water. Kamholtz’s painting is embedded with personal meaning in the form of fragments of his past art, the ashes of diaries. In the presence of this artwork we are drawn into a poetic landscape where faces emerge; symbols and totems slip from passive dark spaces and come into conscious awareness.

The second stage of the work was the performance in the form of 9 responses to the painting by Kristy Lee. The painting and the pool created the reflective and reflexive performative space and the transformative process of the original painting then began. Integral to the space were David Usher’s delicate pots; these vessels contained the pallet of shades that then shrouded and clouded the memory of the work. Over the course of the day the painting’s physical form was transformed into something different loosing its current visual form as only a memory.

Our part of the collaboration was to witness, respond and record the transformation of the work over the day. The next stage of the Memory Collective’s work will continue over the next month our component will be to create 9 large collaged photograph memory states of the work for the show in September. Works by others include; a video art piece, a documentary video, a soundscape, interviews, prose and poems. It is a significant project and is being funded by the RADF and supported through the exhibition at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.

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A fragment of photographic memories made by us for the MEMORY COLLECTIVE

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Kamholtz in the performance space with the painting and pool

Damien Kamholtz in the performance space with the painting and pool

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Doug-documents the space ...... Photo: Victoria Cooper

Doug documents the space …… Photo: Victoria Cooper

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kirsty and painting – in the early state…

Kirsty Lee performs before the painting

Kirsty Lee performs before the painting

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State 3 Kirsty applies paint to the paining...   Photo: Cooper+Spowart

State 3 Kirsty applies paint to the paining…

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Hand paint

Hand paint

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Kirsty Lee and her interaction with the painting   PHOTO Cooper+Spowart

Kirsty Lee and her interaction with the painting … around Stage 6

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Blue hand...

Blue hand…

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Kirsty Lee in a frenetic stage…

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brushes

Kirsty and brushes before the pool

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Paint fluid in the pool…

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Towards the final state…

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The final state …


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Memory Collective logo.

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Damien discussing movement with Kirsty

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Kirsty Lee towards the end of the performance

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Another creative work from the performance by Jason Nash…

Jason Nash - Time lapse video

Jason Nash – Time lapse video

CLICK HERE to see Jason Nash’s ‘Memory Collective’ time-lapse video

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The Team: Front Ashleigh Campbell, Julio Dunlop, Kirsty Lee, Victoria Cooper, Doug Spowart Back: David Usher, Jason Nash, Jesse Wright, Damien Kamholtz, Zac Rowling ( weakling). Not present: Craig Allen & Jake Hickey

The Team: Front Ashleigh Campbell, Julio Dunlop, Kirsty Lee, Victoria Cooper, Doug Spowart
Back: David Usher, Jason Nash, Jesse Wright, Damien Kamholtz, Zac Rowling ( weakling).
Not present: Craig Allen & Jake Hickey

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Toowoomba Chronicle 17 June, 2013 by Kate Dodd PHOTO: Dave Noonan

Toowoomba Chronicle 17 June, 2013 by Kate Dodd PHOTO: Dave Noonan

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© 2013 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for The Memory Collective

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SUPPORT THIS PROJECT: Retake Melbourne App

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In the opening paragraph of a review of John Elliott’s rephotography exhibition The Last Show and Re-shoot that was published in Art Monthly (#240 June 2011) I made the following comment:

Part of the mystique bestowed upon photography is the notion that a photograph captures a moment of time that enables a viewer to reconnect with or gain insights into the subject portrayed. Since its inception photographers have utilised photography’s inherent connection with time and place by reimaging the original subject days, months and years after the originating photographic ‘moment’. One notable re-photography project began in the 1970s by Mark Klett and his team in the United States with the Second View: The Rephotographic Survey Project, and continues with the recent Third views, second sights: a rephotographic survey of the American West. These projects draw upon the concept that comparative images over time extend the narrative of the single image, and that the differences and similarities observed tell a larger story – that of time and change.

I am excited by rephotography projects and from the early 1980s I have undertaken many myself. Now I have encountered news of an exciting project in Melbourne that will make this specialised photographic activity available to anyone with a smart phone or imaging device . Entitled Retake Melbourne the project will do two significant things; firstly, it will create an APP where earlier photographs of Melbourne can be located and aligned for the contemporary photographer to image the exact same view; and secondly, the source images will be from the the Sate Library of Victoria’s extensive Mark Strizic photography collection.

The project is being ‘floated’ via Pozible crowd sourcing, and time is running out to ensure this project gets the support to make it happen. I would ask you to review the project details that follow – login to Pozible, and make a pledge to support this valid and innovative project.

Thanking You

Doug Spowart

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Here are the details … From the POZIBLE Project page

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Retake-Pozible Page

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POZIBLE – Project Title: Retake Melbourne

Overview:

We Melburnians jealously defend our city as the ‘most live-able’; a cultured grande dame with a creative dash, anti-establishment street art, a larrikin love of football and lots of delicious secrets. 

To participate in this project will be to illuminate and contrast her hidden past with her contemporary face.

Key to this is the mine of visual data in the State Library of Victoria’s collection, in particular immigrant Australian photographer Mark Strizic’s 5000 half-century-old negatives, colour transparencies and slides, acquired in 2007.

Aims:

When associate Greg Neville saw this archive, he envisaged a repeat photography project based on Strizic’s images which would uncover the glorious Melbourne buildings of his childhood memories. 

We’d like to share this chance to retake Melbourne’s past. But re-photography is technically demanding. I realised that a mobile app would make the process accessible to everyone. 

 

Image: © Mark Strizic: Melbourne GPO, 1950s

Mobile App mockup: © Strizic image overlay enables user to compose their own version accurately

A finished ‘re-photograph’ accurately duplicating Strizic photograph angle of view

By tapping the ‘crowd’ we can include you in this project. Your images might become valuable records, as Strizic’s are now, to researchers in the still further future! They will compare your view with Mark’s to see how the city has changed. You can be in on the birth of Melbourne’s first comparative photographic research project.


But first we need the tech to do it; a photography app that contributors will be first to use!


Background:

Close associate of architects Robyn Boyd and David Saunders, Strizic’s love of architecture and his European eye provoked his condemnation of the ugliness he saw invading Australian city-scapes during the 1960s when architecture of the Gold Rush era coexisted with, and was being demolished for, Modernist curtain-glass high-rise office buildings.

LHS Image: © Mark Strizic: Russell Street Melbourne, 1950s

RHS image: Greg Neville: Russell Street Melbourne, 2013

Image: © Mark Strizic: Melbourne Museum and State Library, 1950s

Outcomes:

By contributing to the development of our crowd-funded app, you will create the means to contribute accurate repeat photography of the locations of Strizic’s thirty-to-fifty year-old images of architecture, street-scenes and pedestrians, and to uncover the layers of history.

Historical and Creative results

Re-photography is studied and recognised for its value for historical, scientific, geographic, geologic and social science research; this use of crowd sourced material will be innovative.

Rather than being slavish copies of old photos, yours will be interpretations of Strizic’s originals which will build a picture of how a city has changed, and is in turn transforming us. There is a creative dimension in the ratio of interpretation to replication each contributor will employ in this process, that will add to value of their artefact. Their resultant contribution may be incorporated in the SLV online collection for comparison, by these and future researchers, with Strizic’s original.

The Mobile App: 

With this app, members of the public can find locations photographed by Strizic on a map, orient their device’s camera closely to the angle, orientation and framing that he used using a transparent overlay of his image, downloaded from the SLV online collection, over their screen image.

This app will simplify the repeat photography exercise and enable you to produce a comparative image which will match or contrast existing conditions and features with those in his original image.

Contribute to our shared archive:

The State Library of Victoria‘s huge archive opens up a rich resource for Victorians online; now that everyone can access it; they can also interact with it. This crowd-sourced project will give the archive more exposure and contribute new resources.

Provide a resource for future research:

The Strizic archive forms a reference for participants who will be asked to repeat the making of the images in the same location. In doing so they will record a contemporary street scene peopled with pedestrians who may regard, occupy and use the city of Melbourne in very different ways now.

 

Increase your own knowledge of Melbourne and Photography:

Part of the durable, interactive and updatable project outcomes is that participants will make a substantial contribution, they in turn will benefit from the exercise of finding the locations in coming to understand at first hand the operation of the forces of change on the city, the influences of crowd behaviour on the city, and its power to change us and our societal interactions. You too can become a ‘re-photographer’!

  1. What will your contribution do?

Level of funding sought: $6,000 – $10,000

A huge volume of photographic contributions will be required to enable worthwhile comparison of the old and new images to show how Melbourne’s buildings and streets have shaped, and are shaped by, its populace and its society. Achieving the necessary quantity and accuracy will require $6,000 base funding for the development and distribution of a mobile-device app.

 

$6000 will pay for six months of the developer’s time in building the app.

Researcher Dr James McArdle, will contribute $12,000 in-kind support; for research into the State Library collection and mapping of locations of Strizic images for GPS locator in the app.

 

*Reaching $10,000:

will enable us to map significantly more locations and to pinpoint the date/time of capture for more Strizic photographs as a guide to the re-photographers.

Twitter: JamesmMcArdle

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DOCUMENT MAKING IN METROPOLIS

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Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

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Vicky and I were in Sydney last week. It is a Big city, lots of things to see and do, festivals; Vivid, Headon and Reportage, people everywhere with phones, iPads and DSLRs shooting. We joined in the photo foray that is Sydney and found in ourselves – and in our subjects, a connection with Australian documentary photography that threaded from Parke’s glowing ghost-light, to Dupain and Moore’s modernist clean lines and then all the way back to Cazneaux’s warm pictorialist pictures. These connections with the history of photography were warm and fuzzy for me and gave a feeling of confidence, comfort and purpose for my engagement with image making.

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I began to think about photography and photographers today, particularly the often cited us and them divide between those who have a significant history, both professional and academic in photography, and those who pick up a camera, or use their smart imaging device and just take pictures.

Questions arose – I’ll use the terms vernacular and serious to distinguish my discussion of these two groups:

  • Does a sense of history and experience in photography really make a difference to the ‘quality’ of the resulting image?
  • There is a lot of hype and acceptance of the snapshot ethic within photography circles – so what is the difference when between a serious and a vernacular snapshot photo?
  • Is the general public today more astute about image design, content, moment of capture than serious photographers choose to give them credit for?
  • Is there any difference in the workflow between serious photographers and those ubiquitous vernacular snappers? Isn’t photography still about; having access to imaging technology>looking/seeing/experiencing the world>responding to visual triggers>readying the imaging device>considering it in the viewscreen>take the picture at a selected time/timing> and then doing something with it?
  • Does it make a difference if the vernacular photographer engages in a spontaneous act of self-documentation and the serious photographer engages in the process with a methodology that which is informed by a past lived in photography and the appreciation of the underpinning awareness of the photoimaging process, technology, visual literacy and human sociology?
  • Are both the vernacular and the serious photographer’s images ultimately the result of the assimilation of every studied or subliminal idea and visual influence that they have encountered?

On these days in Sydney I made my photographs, as did thousands of other photographers who shared my interest in using the photograph, or the very act of photography, to ‘still’ a moment in time. But are there other synergies at play? The philosopher Wilém Flusser might an alternate view on what photographer, vernacular and serious alike. In his book, Towards a Philosophy of Photography (2000) Flusser proposes that everyone using photography is essentially being seduced by the camera and its ‘program’. He states:

Both those taking snaps and documentary photographers, however, have not understood ‘information.’ What they produce are camera memories, not information, and the better they do it, the more they prove the victory of the camera over the human being. (Flusser 2000:59)

Perhaps then, if Flusser is right, we have no say in the process at all and that we are merely slaves to the technology. With that in mind, I guess I’ll just continue to make ‘camera memories’ so that the camera and I can connect with the times, and the places, that we shared together …

Doug Spowart       8 June 2013

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SOME CAMERA MEMORIES OF THE METROPOLIS

My Olympus Pen & me: May 27-30, 2013

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Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

Citizens of Sydney by Doug Spowart ©2013

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All  photographs by my Olympus Pen whose ‘program’ made me take the photos….

© Doug Spowart 2013.

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TRANSLUCENCE: Jacqui Dean’s Xrayograms

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Translucence invitation

Translucence invitation

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Translucence @ 2 Danks Street Gallery . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

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Another Universe

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From the late 19th, and into the early 20th century there was a growing movement in the sciences and the arts that associated with Nature’s inherent resonance of form and structure from the microscopic to the cosmic. These new vistas and universes were recorded not only by the scientists’ hand but also by new developments in technology, notably the invention of the photographic process. Visual communication through imaging technologies continues to be an important tool in scientific research. But these images were not just useful as scientific evidence they were and continue to be inspiration for the creative work of artists and designers.

One noted exemplar utilising this visual medium was Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932), a sculptor, metal craftsman and teacher. Blossfeldt began taking photographs of botanical specimens to use in his classes as ideas for students to create design forms from nature. But Blossfeldt’s work became very influential in the art, craft and design movement that popularised natural forms as templates for architecture, sculpture and 3D design work. His photographic documentation revealed abstract views of humble everyday roadside plants as visually interesting structural and aesthetic forms. As a result, Blossfeldt’s photographs also became renowned as works of fine art.

Jacqui Dean’s exhibition Translucence, at 2 Danks Street Gallery, Sydney, is the result of artistic curiosity and visual investigation natural forms through the phenomenon of Xrays. Art in this respect is the revelation of the unseen, the beholding of the essence within ordinary objects or a transforming perception of the everyday experience. The photograph, or in this case ‘xrayograph’, seals the object within the frame safe from the changes and inevitable decay over time. At first glance these images could appeal to the naturalist or perhaps a student of design (after Blossfeldt). Yet a deeper – more poetic vision immanent in nature is also suggested through a more contemplative viewing of these images.

Some may argue that this is an uncomfortable clash between the modernist and the romantic, or the objectivity of scientific evidence and the subjective imagination. But could this work identify with a need to embrace a sense of wonder rarely seen within a super-hyped, virtual digital-image society? Dean’s work in Translucence is informed by the poetry of music and her life’s experiences and her prodigious professional practice in photography. However the rewards for the thoughtful viewer will be to share in her wonder of the natural world that surrounds and nourishes our everyday life.

Victoria Cooper . . . June 9, 2013.

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Rose Xrayogram by Jacqui Dean

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Tulips Xrayogram by Jacqui Dean

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Translucence Opening Crowd . . iPhone Pano: Doug Spowart

Robert McFarlane preparing his opening remarks . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

Robert McFarlane preparing his opening remarks . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart.

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Jacqui, Josef Lebovic and Robert McFarlane . . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

Translucence x2. . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

More Translucence. . iPhone Photo: Doug Spowart

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MORE INFORMATION:

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Jacqui Dean’s Website:  http://deanphotographics.com.au/fine-art/

Interview by Gemma Piali of FBi Radio, Sydney: http://fbiradio.com/interview-jacqui-dean-on-translucence/

Review from Simone Whelton ABC702  http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2013/05/31/3659500.htm

“Translucence: Jacqui Dean – A jam packed opening on a Tuesday night meant it was a little hard to see some of the stunning black and white prints that Jacqui Dean has featured in her new exhibition Translucence but I pushed my way through the crowds and was delighted at the little moments of gentle quiet that descended on me as I stared at each picture, delicately constructed. This is spectacular still life photography featuring mainly Australian flowers (orchids and native flowers) and using a combination of x-ray and digital imaging. Tucked away towards the back of the exhibition is a series of photos of beautiful shells. Known for her photographs of architecture (interiors and landscape), this exhibition is part of Head On. Take a few minutes to pop in and enjoy the works! When and where: on at The Depot, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo now until June 8.”

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Xrayograms: © Jacqui Dean

Review text © 2013 Victoria Cooper

All iPhone photographs  © 2013 Doug Spowart

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