The Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) has a wonderful idea each year to raise funds. It invites a group of photographers to supply a digital file and backed by great supporters like Eleven40 Studio/Gallery, Kayell Australia, Epson and Blurb, print (on fabulous Canson Rag Photographic 310gsm Archival Fine Arts Papers, with an Epson Stylus 9900 using Epson Archival Pigment Inks) and hang an anonymous show that is then sold via a pre-purchased red dot scheme. This amazing piece of complex planning, with huge support from photographers and suppliers, provides a much needed cash injection into the running of BIFB.
From my point of view it enables me to support an Institution that I wholeheartedly endorse, and for a small outlay, I can add to my photographic collection.
This year I have added to the Poole Collection with a piece by a friend whose output does not yet grace my walls. John Bodin is a Melbourne based advertising photographer whose fine art photography is perceptive, intuitive and creative. It will be a joy to have this image framed and promptly hung in my collection.
All the submitted photographs and their authors are listed on the Eleven40 Studio/Gallery site – http://eleven40.com.au/photography-exhibitions/bifb-collection-2014.html. A quick glance at the list will show some of Australia’s better known names. You will be sorry if you were not part of the red-dot process. Oh well, there is always next year.
I should declare that my new best friend, Michael Prior, is now the owner of a Poole original. We have not yet met, but I will attempt to remedy that in the near future. Michael is a Melbourne based photographer who was exhibited at 2013 BIFB. I show him here with BIFB Creative Director Jeff Moorfoot.
For his trouble (and investment) Michael will receive a newly created work that was a result of visiting the Garry Winogrand Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a recent trip to New York. For me it was one of those transformative moments when what I had read about, finally made total sense to me. Winogrand had been one of the photographers whose work I would show to students as an example of what could be done by a photographer and a camera and a clear eye. No complex sets, expensive lighting rigs or esoteric cameras.
Let’s hope Michael enjoys owning this photograph as much as I did in taking it.