As a Director at Gallery Frenzy I naturally take a great interest in work that is displayed on its walls.
When the exhibitor is a long standing friend and admired fellow photographer, I take a very careful and personal interest. Such is the case with our next Exhibition Maris Rusis : Original Photographs. Rusis is an unabashed photographic analogue pedant. His disdain of digital photography is well known to me, and has been the reason for the consumption of many bottles of red wine late into the evening. Whilst he has shown erratically at some quality galleries (Point Light in Sydney and the late and much lamented Imagery Gallery, Brisbane), cajoling Rusis to Gallery Frenzy has been a major coup. He will be the opening exhibitor at Gallery Frenzy’s new second gallery.
Eschewing colour photographic materials (as well as digital), Rusis is an avowed proponent of black and white photography; and this is best explained by quoting from the exhibition catalogue “All pictures are made from light-sensitive substances,principally gelatin-silver halide emulsions on film and paper substrates. Process is done by hand and follows the original pattern of exposure, development, fixation and archival finishing.”
This exhibition is a delicious mix of negative sizes ranging from 6x7cm Mamiya RB67, 4×5″ Tachihara 45GF and a venerable 1991 8×10″ Tachihara 810HD triple extension field view camera. With Rusis reaching an age when regular shooting excursions with the 8×10″ are becoming less frequent, it is the contact photographs from these negatives that excite me most. Photographs created by contacting directly onto the exhibition paper have an honesty and beauty that cannot be replicated. We have many examples in this exhibition.
The reportage of banal motel rooms occurred during a road trip shared to far North Queensland. Using a Mamiya Sekor-C 37mm f/4.5 Rusis maintained control with this difficult lens, and produced intriguing photographs of such a dry subject. Archer Park Motel, Rockhampton is classic illustration of both banal reportage and self-portraiture.
North Queensland art photographer Glen O’Malley is recorded with the author at O’Malley’s Woopen Creek home in FNQ. This photograph is one of a number taken in and around this area. Whilst very much the technical photographer, Rusis has an ability to communicate with his subjects whilst obtaining a fly on the wall rendition of his chosen subject. This is no small achievement using the style of equipment that he does.
Maris Rusis : Original Photographs will open at 6:30pm at Gallery Frenzy on Monday 3 February and run until 22 February 2014.