One of the joys of being a mature aged student was having previously held concepts and well established photographic techniques challenged; and being constantly called on by lecturers to provide new visual answers to previously unheard of questions.
One of those questions was to do with the movement during an exposure longer than the usual hand held speeds of 1/60th of a second or faster.
I explored starting with a simple tripod mounted slow speed exposure in daylight, through to more complex settings; and eventually becoming more challenged by the aesthetics contained within the frame.
The recent construction of a motor way that dissected the old inner city Brisbane suburb of Petrie Terrace was an opportunity for me to make a visual political statement. The motorway chopped the suburb in half and took away the quaintness of small workers’ dwellings built on small blocks of land. The tighter image (Hale Street Detail) was possibly more interesting because of the movement illustrated rather than the motorway construction. In the end I became more interested in the design possibilities than the politics of late twentieth century urban development.
Whilst initially taking photographs within the urban environment, I became fascinated with things of a much more domestic nature.
I realised that my daughter (Nicola and her kitten) were equally good subjects and also provided me with caption/title possibilities that appealed to my dry sense of humour.
The idea of working in the intimate surroundings of my home and with my daughter had not been explored by me before – except as family snaps and the usual family documentation.
This was a big step forward in my creative development.
A further change in my creativity was the technique used in the production of the photographic prints.
Having assisted in curating an exhibition of work by Japanese artists around Queensland, I was impressed by the photographs of Yoshiteru Asai. Asai-san was a Nagoya based advertising commercial photographer which whom I had an existing friendship. He was also a multi-talented artist working in calligraphy, ceramics, design and photography.
He used a technique of exposing his negative onto a piece of photographic paper; but instead of developing the sheet fully in a developing tray, he used a large calligraphy brush and with deliberate strokes applied the developer in the form of a kanji character. The resultant photograph was then photographically copied and applied to a silk screen and the final image was silk-screened onto high quality, heavy weight Japanese washi paper.
These two pieces are a treasured part of my personal art collection.
The last photographs in the portfolio are the result of a collaboration between Nicola and some unsuspecting dinner guests; and equally treasured within my art collection.
It has been my custom for many years to entertain friends at home. I enjoy the camaraderie that is created by sharing wine and food and chose to use this environment to create.
I have an underlying fear (caused by a basic insecurity on my part) that through poor directions or instructions my dinner guests may not arrive. This is the rationale behind this triptych.