Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Archive for the ‘Family Album’ Category

Family Ties

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Bite! Magazine is currently working on a brand new multimedia project. They would like to include as many quotes, from you, as possible on the one theme, familiar to all of us: Family.

Share your thoughts at http://www.bitemagazine.net/family-is/

Deadline is Monday night and the multimedia project will be featured on iTunes by the end of November.

Anonymous family photograph

Written by Lee Grant

October 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm

And away we go…..

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Blimey, can’t quite believe it’s already a new year, was only just getting a grip on last year’s and around swings this new one….. but a new and shiny and good one methinks. I feel it in my bones!

So I’ve sort of let this blog go a bit… partially cos I’ve been too busy but also (I’ll admit it) I’m a little blogged out. I mean there are a zillion of these things out there (trust me I’ve checked out a LOT of them – sad but true) and not all of them are that exciting. Also, my new decade resolution is to spend less time online and more time in the world – that’s not to say that I’m giving up completely! I am after all a web-junkie and I am rather partial to a rollicking cyber-surf.

Speaking of surfing (and the real world!), I’ve just come back from my annual 2 week camping pilgrimage to Bristol Point, truly one of the Gods’ greater creations…. I return renewed, smug with the feeling that we are so lucky to have such a place so close, but also slightly overwhelmed by how crazy modern life can actually be (this is called culture shock). I didn’t even take that many photos this year (much to my camping mob’s dismay), but it was nice actually to take a bit of a rest. Of course I didn’t NOT take any pictures as you can see below…. just a few of ye olde B&W pics. Will be doing more of these…. I miss it.

Charlie

Molly

Anyway, it’s gonna be another busy year. My biggest news is that I’m just about done with my dissertation having worked like a demon over the Xmas break to submit it. There may yet be some corrections (really bloody hoping not!), but the weight off is almost life altering (talk about a damn albatross!). Still have to write an exegesis. What the hell is this you ask!? For those of you who wonder, it’s simply a studio report aka a justification of my art practice with theoretical underpinnings and how I went about creating the body of work I created for the Masters… Blah, blah, blah. But actually not a bad exercise for any artist to do. Painful but you do come out with a strong sense of your own work, something I think a lot of photographers/artists lack unfortunately (along with either too much or not enough confidence!). So there you have it… 2010 off with a bang. Back to work tomorrow…. Have baked a yummy banana loaf for morning tea to ease the pain. Hmmmm…..

Written by Lee Grant

February 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Spectacular Vernacular!

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So here I am researching the ‘portrait in photography‘ for my sub-thesis (mate, I’m being good!), and I manage to stumble across some fantastic sites dedicated to vernacular photography. Take a look at Square America, the Look at Me Archives and Accidental Mysteries (for a few examples). I am so excited by what I’m seeing that I simply had to write this post. Take a look at the images below to see what I mean:

© 2008 John and Teenuh Foster (from Accidental Mysteries)


Photo 257, No title, No date (courtesy Look at Me)


Photo 382, No title, No date (courtesy Look at Me)

A good part of my thesis centres around the notion of the everyday, with emphasis on the awkward and the intimate in portraiture. The aesthetic of the snapshot appeals to me very much in this regard. Interestingly this aesthetic was theorised quite early on last century (in 1908 ) by the Austrian critic, Joseph August Lux, who wrote a book called Künsterlische Kodakgeheimnisse (Artistic Secrets of the Kodak) in which he championed the use of Kodak cameras like the Brownie. Guided by a position that was influenced by the Catholic critique of modernity, he argued that the ease of use of the camera meant that people could photograph and document their surroundings and thus produce, what he hoped, was a type of stability in the ebb and flow of the modern world (Mark Jarzombek. “Joseph August Lux: Theorizing Early Amateur Photography – in Search of a Catholic Something”,” Centropa 4/1 (January 2004), 80-87.)

The popularity of the banal in photographic subject matter from the 1970s on suggests – to me at least – that we are a nostalgic bunch. In a world where everything (technology, economy, consumption etc..) is literally happening in the blink of an eye (including photography), we can feast our eyes a little on what is vaguely familiar. It gives us reason to pause a little and reflect on the details and minutiae of life, perhaps even encouraging us to re-think the banal of the everyday as something actually beautiful and worthy. It is also a very democratic process, one in which individual consciousness can be quite evident.

Charlotte Cotton in her book ‘The Photograph as Contemporary Art’ points out:

Candid work that is is artistically powerful is nevertheless difficult, for it initially seeks to identify and portray everyday life and normality, then portray and maintain that sense of the mundane, and yet paradoxically transform the casual into the realm of the praised and notable. The balance between registering the banal, keeping that very sense of the banal, and yet making it unique is therefore fraught with peril, but very powerful when successful.”

 

For artists working in the deadpan tradition then, a look back into the family album might yield the inspiration they are looking for. For me, lost images like the ones above that are condemned to the seeming emptiness of anonymity, are given new credence for their engaging intimacies and lack of pretentiousness.


Dad, Mum and an even littler Lee

Written by Lee Grant

December 5, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Zozo, a legend in her own lifetime….

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My beautiful and loyal furry friend left this world last weekend after 12 fabulous years. Found on a whim at the RSPCA, Zoe (or Zozo as she has affectionately become known) actually looked like an overgrown chihuaha – big ears, swollen belly – but it was her personality that got me. She was with me throughout my relationship, survived countless moves across the country as well as other (naughty sheep-eating) pets; protected my little brood of bairns and never gave up on me – even when it might have seemed that I did her.

Thankyou Carl, our wonderful homeopathic vet, who helped make Zoe’s final transition a peaceful one.

Big girl, there’ll never be another dog like you. We will miss you and love you always…….. xxx

Zoe Puppy

Zoe – Stick Fetcher

Zoe’s Last Day

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Zozo’s resting place , where Zoe is now catching endless sticks with her pals Bulla, Maude and Jesse!

Written by Lee Grant

June 5, 2007 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Family Album

Suburban Bush Legend

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Here are some pics of Charlie as Ned Kelly. This was a true collaboration, inspired by Charlie’s favourite Nolan paintings at the NGA – naturally – and photographed down the road from home. Had in mind to submit these to the Albury National Photo Prize (This year’s theme being “Photography as Theatre”), but as luck would have it, we have unfortunately run out of time, unless I drive the prints down to Albury myself…. not likely given how mentally busy we are at the minute! Not to mention the $50 submission fee for the privilege of being considered! Nevermind….

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Written by Lee Grant

March 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm

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