Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘acp

And so, what else is happening?

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Well, it certainly has been a while since I bothered posting about my ruminations on photography…. but you know, life gets busy and I figure there’s no point feeling like a slave to technology, particularly if there’s nothing much to be said. Not that this has been the case overall, and certainly the proverbial shitload has been going on, but you know…. I got a bit lazy and like I said, a lot’s been happening.

So what have I missed blogging about worth mentioning? Let’s see…. FotoFreo where I went to finally meet many e-buddies such as Andy Adams (Flak Photo), Mark McPherson (Big City Press), Rebecca Dagnall and Stacy Merfhar (both fab photographers), and where I also got to hang out with Amy Stein, Carry Levy, Jon Levy (no relation to Carry though, Jon runs Foto 8 in London), Brad Rimmer, Graham Miller (whose work I’ve posted about before and you couldn’t meet a nicer person), Sohrab Hura, Narelle Autio and many others. I also had the good fortune to be selected to participate in a Magnum workshop with Trent Parke, plus see a load of photo-shows and talks. In a word…. awesome experiences with a bunch of very interesting and lovely people. I could rattle on about how much fun I had but that would be boring. Suffice to say that the photo-community seems to me at least, to be a fun one. At least no one glazes over when you bang on and on about photography! I highly recommend photo festivals and am looking forward to one day getting over to the big ones in the US and Europe.

The National Portrait prize, in which I have a work is now traveling. The opening at the NPG was kinda fun. My mum was very funny and harassed the NPG photographer to track me down in order to photograph me in front of my work. Mums… what can I say!? ;) My work hung next to Ingvar Kenne‘s portrait of Alexis Wright, which was nice, as we are fans of each other’s work. Ingvar was last year’s winner, a judge in the Sony comp I won last year and another super nice bloke. He also features in Hijacked 2 (see below).

But most importantly (big drumroll please), I finally submitted my thesis. Yay for me! Only took me 5 years and I’ve actually still got one week to go as my assessment is next Wednesday morning with the exhibition opening in the evening. So if you happen to be in Canberra and near the ANU School of Art, please do come along.

Let me tell you, I’m very glad I’m about finished. Definitely looking forward to making some new work and am hatching a few deadlines to keep me going (one of the good things about studying is the deadlines – forces you to reach goals!)

And, I also got back from a weekend in fabulous Sydney where I visited for the launch of the Hijacked 2 book and exhibition. The book, I must say looks fantastic, and Mark, Ute and Markus  – as well as all their creative team – have done a fabulous job putting it together. I’m rather proud to be a part of it, I must say.

If you’re in Sydney come and check it out, otherwise it will be travelling to Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. Oh and go buy the book, arriving on shore late this month.

I also bought Derek Henderson‘s monograph Mercy Mercer. Absolutely stunning book and I highly recommend this incredible photographer. Derek shoots 8×10″ large format in a style reminiscent of Alec Soth‘s but there’s something unique about Derek’s work. It’s imbued with a lyricism and rawness belonging to another world, (actually New Zealand). One of my favourite purchases this year.

Anyway, going forward, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with this blog. It’s actually now archived with the National Library of Australia and in perpetuity even – which is kind of nice – so even if I do hang it up, any of you interested readers out there can still access old stuff via the NLA Pandora archive. I won’t ride off into the sunset just yet, but will take my time coming back into the blogosphere. Will keep you posted no doubt…. that’s if any of you are even still there!?

Written by Lee Grant

June 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Inheritance… ask and ye shall receive

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Well the craziness has begun to subside and the whirlwind of the last week is calming down… back to the grind now….

It’s all good though, and really exciting to be part of such a great show with other really good and lovely photographers. Malcolm has done a really nice job of curating the exhibition and it’s still a little surreal to realise that I’m a part of it. Anyway here are some installation pics:

_MG_9528

_MG_9520My installation… pretty cool innit?

Not bad for a suburban pleb huh?

And a couple more below… didn’t get a chance to photograph the whole show but hopefully may get some images from Malcolm. The show’s up till June 7 th so check it out if you haven’t already. Now I have to get back to Beverley Hills Chihuahua before my daughter gets miffed at me for escaping… sheer torture! The things you do for kids! ;)

_MG_9518Tamara Dean‘s installation

_MG_9524Bindi Cole‘s installation

Written by Lee Grant

May 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Waving the WWW-wand.

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The beauty of being online is finding out where you can end up as you never know who might stumble upon your work. Case in point, I have found some interesting virtual portals where my work seems to have mysteriously landed or where an interest in my work is being fostered. It’s small steps but encouraging nevertheless.

You can visit here for a preview of my new series Belco Pride, here for an interesting virtual magazine “R” (I’m in Issue 14), and Culturehall for a new initiative founded by David Andrew Frey. I’m still in the process of uploading my work (no batching tools unfortunately) so be sure to come back or visit some of the other featured artists! Interestingly each of these avenues sought me out rather than the other way around, so I’m feeling like the blood-sweat and tears is well and truly worth it (kinda weird too, since it all manifests by huddling around a computer screen in my very messy home office!)… who would have thought!?

Also on the good news front, I’ve been selected as a finalist for Head On: Australia’s Alternative Portrait Prize. The show opens the same night as Inheritance (the group show I’m participating in) at the ACP in Sydney on April 30th.

And lastly, the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award was opened last weekend by Glenn Sloggett (last year’s winner) at the Gold Coast Arts Centre. The winner this year is Polixeni Papapetrou for her image Sisters Rock:

sisters-rocks-2008Sisters Rock (courtesy Polixeni Papapetrou)

Below is Papapetrou’s statement for this image:

Sisters Rocks is from the series ‘Games of Consequence’ 2008. In this body of work, I recreated my childhood memories of my play in worlds beyond the home to reflect upon the freedom that we enjoyed in these arcane spaces. I wanted to use the depth and complexity of the natural world as a backdrop in which I could explore some of the idyllic and darker aspects of growing up. For me, the land still represents a space without constraints and a place where children can attempt to define their individuality through their surroundings. Whether portrayed as idyllic or threatening, the landscape is still experienced as a metaphorical shelter. The sheer bulk of this landscape does not intimidate the children and they are comfortable with their own freedom. Even though the children are involved in reckless activity in defacing the natural landscape, they inhabit the landscape as their private space in which they create their own culture.

Naomi Cass from the CCP was the Judge this year and made the following comments about the work:

This was a difficult decision to make and there were a number of outstanding works in this exhibition.  I’m drawn by the meeting of two strong features in the work – the one being the narrative and the other the strong formal qualities of the work – the narrative is  challenging – looking at youth culture and the wanton destruction of nature and yet there is an innocence and a beauty arising from the children  – formally the composition is very pleasing with an even, almost filigree like detail across the surface arising from the texture of the rock – the trees and graffiti and against this is the foreground middle ground and background of the landscape. The action takes place in a relatively shallow almost stage like environment with massive gestural  rocks in the background – this work is both beautiful and sad.

The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation for the Arts also provides an additional $10,000 for works to be purchased for the collection. This year’s acquisitions are:

Karen Casey Lets shake Series #1, 2009
Ella Condon Cousin Johnny, 2007
Michael Corridore Untitled 5-14, 2008
Rod McNicol Portrait of Ansophie, 2009
Susan Purdy Detail 2 of ‘the lost forest’, 2008

Congrats to all. It is an honour to be considered and shown alongside some of Australia’s best contemporary photographers. The show continues through to May 17, 2009.

untitled-1

Black Holes and Greener Pastures: making photographic art in Australia

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I’m still navigating my knowledge of contemporary Australian photography, ironic given that I’m an Australian myself, but it seems to me that the very best artists are those that are quietly pursuing their art without much fanfare (and often without much opportunity to show their work, which is a sorry state of affairs really). The NGV said it well when they suggested that, “photography has come to dominate the contemporary art scene but despite the photo rich days we live in, large-scale surveys of Australian photography are relatively rare.”

Two Australian photographers chipping away at their art are Jane Burton and Marion Drew. Whilst they do exhibit inside Australia (and I believe Drew has shown in NY) I would really like to see more Australian photography like this pushed to a broader and more international audience. We are still trumpeting the likes of Bill Henson, Trent Parke and Max Dupain (a lot of men)!! I am not dissing their talent or their work at all, but isn’t it time for some new blood on the tracks? Why are Australian curators and selection panels so afraid of no-names? The NGA is soon to open a new photography exhibition for the inaugural Vivid Photography Festival. Titled Picture Paradise, it is yet another show of old brown photos. When will their senior curator of Photography begin to realise that brilliant contemporary Australian work is out there and needs to be nurtured. History has its place but the repetitive showing of the same work and the same core group of artists is beginning to take its toll! And I don’t think it does much for Australian contemporary photography’s international reputation either.

Jane Burton, Untitled, 2008

Jane Burton, Untitled, 2008

Jane Burton, Untitled, 2008 (All images courtesy of Johnston Gallery)

Vivid could have been an opportunity for a major institution in Australia to demonstrate a unique and supportive stance had it chosen to exhibit an all contemporary show. But the brown photos prevail it seems. The ACP in Sydney however, is about to set an example with its forthcoming show Hijacked, a dual exhibition of contemporary American and Australian photographers curated by Mark McPherson. If you’re in Sydney do go along, it opens today.

from the exhibition Hijacked

And yes, I bleet a bit about this issue but I do think its one that needs to be dealt with by somebodies (anybodies) sooner than later otherwise we might lose some brilliant working artists – as opposed to dead ones – to greener pastures overseas or worse to the obscurities of anonymity.

Marion Drew (from the Australian Still-life series)

Marion Drew (from the Australian Still-life series)

Marion Drew (from the Australian Still-life series). Courtesy of Robin Gibson Gallery

Written by Lee Grant

June 13, 2008 at 10:25 am

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