Portraits of Artists


Nakamura-san, Nagoya; © Ian Poole.


Hideo Nakamura is a self styled glass artist working from a purpose built atelier in Yamaguichi City, in the far west of Japan.  Nakamura-san was first met at a group exhibition of work shown in Innisfail some years ago. I was taken with his abstract use of coloured glass in framed pieces.  Our friendship was continued when he invited me to stay at his home and shared some lovely highlights from his part of the world.

Hoping to make a portrait of Nakamura-san, I followed him around his atelier as he shared with me his portfolio of glass pieces.  As opposed to a photographer, a glazier artist’s portfolio is large, heavy and somewhat delicate!  I was shown some glorious pieces from his long career, including special samples of imported German and Venetian glass.  As these pieces were shown to me, I found an interesting wall of small glass pieces with a strong even side light.

This gave me the background that I needed. The expression came from Nakamura-san himself. Japanese artists are passionate about their work, and often adopt very serious expressions when explaining or discussing their art.  This time was no exception.


Maris Rusis – Original Photographs; © Ian Poole


No less passionate an artist is Maris Rusis.  This Tewantin (Queensland Sunshine Coast) based photographer is an exponent of large format, black and white photography.  Maris and I have known each other for almost thirty years; both of us having been products of the Imagery Gallery previously run by co-directors Ruby and Doug Spowart.  Maris has an encyclopaedic knowledge of many topics, not the least being photography; and it is a joy to be invited into the darkroom/office/workroom he shares with his partner Zigi Georges.  On a recent visit I was able to turn the tables and get Maris to pose in front of my camera.  We were working in the area he devotes to daylight portraiture using his Tachihara 10×8” camera and Ilford Harmon Direct Positive Paper, and it seemed appropriate to work in that space.

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