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PH0701 Positions & Practice November W 7 - W9 2021 CRJ

W7 Topic 7 : Reflection, Words & Pictures

Well after doing my oral presentation and selecting on 37 years as a photographer and 12 years as a artist I don't particulate like talking about my work. I prefer my work it to do its own talking. I often consider how and why I do things to be a very private matter. Probably stems fror my upbringing, never feeling safe, so for me its about safety. I can be surprisingly articulate and insightful when discussing other artists or photographers work and yet struggle to articulate my own practice which is beautifully clear in my head but don'sn't get aired verbally enough to be coherent or commanding for others sometimes, practice practice.

I've never been a fan of putting text over images, I mean I understand and accept it in terms of publication and in dialogue with designers, but what I am talking about here is for my own work.

I'm taking about writing over my own photographs as my own work. I've never done it. It feels like defacing a painting or graffitiing a building.

Conversely I am fascinated by type and its design and use. And I admire designers who can use type creativity well. Choosing the right typeface is very important to give a feel, I don't always get this right but greatly value its importance and it can make such a difference when gotton right.

I’m not a particular fan of artists who plaster text over their work. It’s not a question of whether its art or not, but to me weather its good art or not. Some photographic artists take the eclectic nature of post modernism at its worst and uses the images of others with text that she didn’t author and smashes them together where the text overrides the image and takes primary place. The smash is the only original part and if we are talking of smash then the Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein is far cleverer and wittier. Coming from a commercial background text over images is generally taboo. It’s even in the industry contracts that if a designer / client manipulates or uses type over an image then written permission from the photographer is required first. Plagiarism of others images and text smashed together is bad art to me. It lacks creativity and originality not matter how clever the idea or smash is. It doesn’t engage or challenge me as a viewer having the opposite effect. Artists with little talent often tend to use the shock by means of compensation. In terms of text dominating over imagery I would counter this bad art and photography example with Magritte’s, “This is not a pipe”. Not only did he paint this and the text but it challenges and really makes me the viewer think and to me is good art.

W8 Topic 8 : Reflection, Audiences & Institutions

I've been greatly influenced by technology in my work. Happily so. Problably why I have 11 cameras. When you use a different tool your workflow changes and the results you get also change. You have to think, look, see, and construct in different ways and I think that is creatively very healthy. so I shoot


DSLR Pinhole

DSLR Holga, Lensbaby, TS lenses and TLT Rokkr lenses

Medium format 6x4.5, 6x6 Pinhole, film and digital

Panoramic 6x12 film

5x4 Pinhole, film & 6x7, 6x9, & 6x12

Tethered to DSLR Canon and digital Hasselblad

There is a massive difference between going from a handheld DSLR to a 6x12 Panoramic or 5x4 on tripod. You can't even compare the approaches. I think photographers are great at rationalising what ever they use as a technique or style. So a photographer with only one camera and lens with no speed light or lights justifies the one camera one lens natural light approach. When really it's about cost and they can't afford more gear.

Institutions I wish to engage with, are the Illustrators of Australia as I have recently been made a professional member. It's a great shame that due to Covid 19 that the AIPP is no longer. Australia now does not have a professional body to represent them. All that work and volunteer time by countless hundreds of photographers and students over the decades all gone. My thanks go out to you all for all you hard work towards the industry. I also need to engage more with the AOP in London.

My drawing studio, 2021 ©

W9 Topic 9 : Reflection, Nature & Culture

What is your understanding of the word "Nature". How is the term problematic?

Nature, anything that has nothing to do with man. My fathers view, however this diminishes all of mankind great achievements, art, buildings, inventions etc. To me perhaps the one the greatest achievements is a city. Like rainforest and incredibly complex eco system that also includes flora and fauna. Where as a rainforest untouched by human hand is solely nature. A city combines the 2, mostly badly but it is more balanced in that respect. I suppose it is all just a matter of perspective and scale. In Melbourne its city and country. Or if you view it from outer space we are all mixed in together on the one blue dot in the cosmos. It is only problematic if you adopt a small perspective. I view a larger picture, everything on this planet was created from the all the same elements from the birth of a star, so we are all nature. Everything on this planet is nature.

How does location and environment feature in your work?

I suppose this is a belonging question. Where do I fit in, I'm not sure I fit in anywhere. I fit into the light and sea salt in the grass air that I remember so well growing up in Perth in the heat. I am reminded of this every time I step out of Perth airport terminal and I smell the air and feel the light.

Margaret River, WA light ©

What is the relationship between your practice and human consumption?

I'm not sure after 37 years of working commercially how sustainably you can be, you accumulate stuff over that time in order to do business. I am conscious of my usage and consumables as much as I can. I buy a lot of things second hand and sell things I no longer use or give them away. I could live far more sustainably but at the expense of things I love and enjoy, I have collected thousands of books in my life and they have given me great comfort in hard times, love, joy, sorrow, stimulation, education and a kick in butt when hard lessons needed to be learnt. Most of the things I have bought have been for my business and I live quite frugally aside of that. I certainly don't feel guilty consuming things.

Reading : The speeches of Martin Luther King

Watching : The Witcher

Listening : Joep Beving

Eating : Asparagus & Salmon salad


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