Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Archive for March 2009

Alexander James and the Twilight of Mr Kemp

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Finally finished putting together a (very basic) website for fellow photographer Alexander James. Love an art swap!

His new book The Twilight of Mr Kemp is due to be launched at his exhibition on June 18 at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space. Put it in your diaries folks!

cotter_7Courtesy of Alexander James

Written by Lee Grant

March 31, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Sunday Coffee Warble… or All the shit I have to get done!

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Well, I haven’t posted for a little while simply because life is proving once again to be quite manic….. which as far as photography goes is probably a good thing but as far as anything else goes, a little sad…… I have been trying to strike a balance between the various commitments I have in my life (you might recall this being a New Year’s resolution for me) but it’s frankly quite hard as inevitably the work suffers and therefore I suffer… at least pangs of creative withdrawal.

Teaching the documentary photography class to third years at uni has however really helped me to realise that I know more than I think and that overall, it has very little to do with the technical aspects of photography (something I still struggle with, probably because I hate to read instructions….. I simply glaze over and the mind starts to wander away as far as possible!). What has really struck me with teaching has been the idea of confidence and self-belief in one’s own work but also a belief in the medium itself. Whilst photography has had a hard time justifying itself in the art-world, its practitioners seem to me to be even harder on themselves, as if we really are just a bunch of frustrated painters or some such thing, constantly putting ourselves down. It can get somewhat tiring but by the same token I do understand it to a degree. Perhaps it stems largely from a lack of life experience or perhaps it stems from our uncertainty of photography as a medium, one that is constantly under scrutiny if not attack (think of the recent Henson saga). Anyway, whatever the answers, I’m finding that I’m acting more as a counselor than teacher which is a strange turn of affairs really……. Despite this however, I’m thoroughly enjoying how the students are interpreting and engaging with the world. It’s certainly a challenge for them I think, possibly because documentary hasn’t been taught at art school before… or at least not for a long while? The prevalence of navel-gazing is quite disconcerting, particularly as we are living in such interesting times (though I also believe that living in the bubble that is Canberra doesn’t help when it comes to lifting one’s head out of the sand). When pushed though it’s great to see how people try to fly.

So there’s a Sunday morning coffee rant. Some other projects keeping me occupied include the Light Journeys website which is coming along quite nicely and is due to be launched next month. Also, in the thick of preparing for an upcoming group show in Sydney at the ACP.

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.

From the tight nuclear unit to the multi-generational extended family, from refuges for the homeless to middle class suburbia, Inheritance examines the way our families shape the person we become; for better or for worse.

Inheritance takes Tracey Moffat’s acclaimed series Scarred for Life as a starting point, and includes the work of eleven Australian artists who explore the modern family through a range of photographic disciplines, including documentary, portraiture and video. Sometimes serious and sometimes satirical, Inheritance is a family album that celebrates the skeletons and the psychodramas alongside the newborns and the nuptials.”

So I’m one of the eleven….. which is pretty cool. I’m mostly organised though I’ve had a few dramas with the colour of mountboard – who would have thought that selecting ‘white’ could prove so bloody difficult?! In addition I’m also trying to meet deadlines for the Masters, which are coming hard and fast as this is my final year (thank Christ!). I’m so looking forward to the zero pressure of life without study… though I do admit I tend to work better under some pressure so may have to think about self-appointing such deadlines in the future!

Anyway, I’ll part ways with a few recent Belco pics:

lee009Sarina and Toyah

lee015Alisha and Saul

macnathanNathan and Mac: Best BMX Buddies

Written by Lee Grant

March 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

A Youtube encounter with Alec Soth

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Here are a couple of interesting videos of one all my all time favourite photographers, Alec Soth:

Written by Lee Grant

March 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm

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